Sound — 9
In 2009, deathcore and neo grind or some combination of the two- are lava-hot in the metal scene. Suicide Silence and Whitechapel are the logos on all the kids' t-shirts and are the bands enjoying the lion's share of the spotlight. But Job For a Cowboy were one of the first bands to gain notoriety and album sales in this incredibly extreme, terrifically niche style. Rather than focus on what's going on in the metal scene, JFAC have turned their attention inward and have flexed, stretched and worked their muscles for Ruination, an album that actually boasts memorable songs. Yes, lurking beneath the veneer of riffs and throat-tearing vocals lies songs that do more than simply pummel. While the album will wear down your defenses with its relentless, over-the-top and continuous aural assault, Unfurling A Darkened Gospel and Summon The Hounds do follow a structure and aren't instantly forgettable because they are so intense and extreme; rather, JFAC have found a way to put together songs that stick to your ribs. We're left to wonder if anyone who plays an instrument in JFAC has fingerprints anymore; the music is played with such voracity that there just has to be some sort of physical sacrifice incurred by the individuals who get together and create this glorious racket.
Lyrics — 9
Don't expect to understand a word that tumbles from Jonny Davy's mouth. This kid shreds his pipes through and through on Ruination, and it's really not about what he's saying. It's more about how he says it and he delivers his words with equal parts viciousness and conviction. His voice acts as another layer of blunt force trauma instrumentation. There's no breaks, no slow parts, no give me a minute to process this. Davy and his cohorts are a well-oiled machine that steamrolls over listeners. Ultimately, it's a cleansing and therapeutic process, to be able to bleed with JFAC.
Overall Impression — 9
Yippeekayee, motherf--ker! These Cowboys beat the living shit out of themselves and their instruments, but it's never mindless or blind. The album is incredibly and impressively tight where it could (and should) be sloppy. This type of ultra-aggressive music is often a mess simply because it's as immediate as a street fight. It's frightening, dangerous and short, and instead of just throwing shit against the studio wall and seeing how it sticks, JFAC are actually art-chitects of a technical and transgressive style of music. While many bands hop on the deathcore bandwagon, JFAC show why they were one of the earliest upstarts in this genre and they do so by fusing technicality with practicality, aggression with expression. They're not trying too hard and that's the very reason the album will click and connect with metal fans who crave tunes as hard, fast and as unforgiving as a three-hour gangbang. Sure, that's a vivid image, but so is JFAC's music on Ruination. Well done, gentlemen!