Job For A Cowboy – Demonocracy
Label: Metal Blade
Love them or hate them, Job For A Cowboy have always been a band with more potential than they let on, so it’s a damn pleasure to finally see them come into their own. As a huge fan of 2009’s Ruination, I was anxious to hear Demonocracy, not just for the music, but to behold the newest permutation of a band that changes members like underwear—and this is their best thus far.
The most notable addition is lead guitarist Tony Sannicandro, whose work on Demonocracy is exactly what I’ve been wanting from this band: scorching leads piled upon riffs that defy the old JFAC formula of pure aural onslaught. Still as nuanced and intricately nutso as former guitarists Bobby Thompson and Ravi Bhadriraju, yet with distinct accents to the carnal brutality, they no longer dwell solely in the low- to mid-range. Sparks of revitalization charge songs like the furious opener “Children of Deceit” and “Fearmonger”, featuring chordal passages and more distinguished leads which were only hinted on Ruination classics like “Regurgitated Disinformation” and “Psychological Immorality”.
In addition to the guitar wizardry, a new innovation is afoot: the integration of… wait for it… prevalent bass lines. Oh yes, JFAC also sports a new bassist in the shape of Cephalic Carnage’s Nick Schendzielos, who takes a more technical approach to his instrument than former bassist Brent Riggs. Songs like “The Deity Misconception” feature a prominent thunder amidst the cacophony, and it’s good for the group to finally have a bassist of this caliber. Of course, Schendzielos’s presence is aided by a solid Jason Suecof mix that allows for all parts to be heard cleanly.
Memorability does suffer, though. As a listener and guitarist, I am naturally drawn to a killer solo (of which there are many—don’t worry) but a huge, catchy chorus helps replay value. While I hate to continuously compare the two, Ruination’s songs were written with more of an ear to the hook, where Demonocracy features more technical tactics. Not a bad thing, but after a few spins, I kept getting lost amidst the constant sonic assault, waiting for the next solo or refrain to bring me back to a recognizable position within each song.
Indeed, the new lineup seems to have breathed new life into Job for a Cowboy, and it’s always exciting to see a band continue to defy the rut of familiarity and evolve its sound, especially when the results are this formidable. [I’m just gonna go ahead and leave this comment here, because I asked Brady to add a concluding sentence and he didn’t ∴ HA! —Ed.]
- Children of Deceit
- Nourishment Through Bloodshed
- Imperium Wolves
- Tongueless and Bound
- Black Discharge
- The Manipulation Stream
- The Deity Misconception
- Tarnished Gluttony