Job For A Cowboy
posted on 5/2012 By:
Hating on bands is a popular activity in the metal world, and Job for a Cowboy certainly has their fair share of haters. My unscientific survey of the message-board bile directed at them revealed the following:
1. In some circles, “Blowjob for a Cowboy” is a really, really funny joke.
2. People who hate this band usually claim to do so because JFAC “invented (or helped invent) deathcore.”
This charge goes back to Job for a Cowboy’s 2005 debut EP Doom, which indeed helped to codify the deathcore playbook. The band members were teenagers at the time. In 2007, the band released Genesis, their first full-length. It saw them trade the inward vocals and breakdowns for slightly melodic tech-death. Demonocracy is their third longplayer in this vein; only vocalist Jonny Davy remains from their Doom days. (Notably, the band has added Nick Schenzielos of Cephalic Carnage on bass.)
Which leads me to wonder: Why exactly do ‘serious’ metal types still hate JFAC so much? Because they have a stupid name? Because the singer and four guys who aren’t in the band anymore played breakdowns seven years ago? Because they have a deal with Metal Blade and land on big-package summer tours, thereby crowding out underground favorite x? Because they’re charlatans who care only about the riches and fame that come with playing second-tier technical death metal?
I suspect the real reason people hate on JFAC is this: Hating is fun, especially with such an easy target. We’re talking metal, after all; our little world orbits around the idea that hatred is fun. Even less overtly angry subcultures love to hate. Just ask LeBron.
Ironically, Demonocracy’s intensely modern tech-death doesn’t violate many metal shibboleths. It’s probably JFAC’s strongest effort to date. The riffs are crunchy. The vocals are brutal. The drums churn and the solos shred. Each member performs crisply and intensely. I’m reminded of The Black Dahlia Murder, whom JFAC now sound a lot like. (The Jason Suecof production makes the similarity more apparent.) Both bands could avoid a great deal of vitriol by releasing their music under a different name.
That being said, Demonocracy is not worthy of the attention that it has received. For all of their technical flair, JFAC cannot write their way out of a paper bag. If Demonocracy were indeed released by a different band, the critical consensus would’ve been “competent but bland.”
Ultimately, Demonocracy is a decent album by an okay—not awesome, not horrible—band. And yet I suspect that JFAC will continue to generate conversation far beyond their musical station, if only because people despise them. It’s better to be feared than loved, but sometimes being hated will do in a pinch.
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