Ruination Review

artist: Job for a Cowboy date: 09/08/2009 category: compact discs
Job for a Cowboy: Ruination
Released: Jul 7, 2009
Genre: Death metal
Label: Metal Blade
Number Of Tracks: 10
Deathcore superstars Job For a Cowboy emerge from the depths Phoenix, Arizona, actually- to bash brains and liquefy skulls with Ruination, an album so metal that it craps iron ore.
 Sound: 7
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 7
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reviews (3) 122 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Ruination Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 07, 2009
6 of 8 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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! // 9

- Amy Sciarretto (c) 2009

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overall: 4.3
Ruination Reviewed by: Mr_CiNiC, on july 13, 2009
1 of 10 people found this review helpful

Sound: JFAC is a good Myspace band that has come a long way. They've been around for quite a few years, and they absolutely demolished the competition with their Doom EP, and then did quite a good job gathering public appeal with their first actual CD, Genesis. What went wrong...? I don't know how to word this nicely, but they didn't try to make this CD sound... good. They were going for being technical and chaotic (inside-picking with scattered notes, odd solos, really fast double bass and blast beats). And in that respect, they did a good job (Get it? JOB!). But in now way did they want this to be "good". The scattered notes are everything but memorable. None of it is at all catchy, aside from a few selected parts (ie. the chorus in Unfurling a Darkened Gospel). The drummer, for his fills, randomly decides it's either a great time to spam some more double bass, snare and crash, or just to have loud, messy sex with his toms. To no suprise, this doesn't sound too good, or original in any respects. The bassist can be audible if you try, but like most metal bassists, "seen but not heard" is the motto. The guitar solos, while technical and requiring skill, are simply a string of off-sounding notes. They didn't use any type of scales, they just put on a blind fold and threw darts at a fretboard one by one to determine notes. There is no progression, there is no "clap your hands" part in which you can even grasp some of the ridiculous tempos they use... Also, Jonny thought it would be a great idea to turn his vocal track up to 11 and keep everyone else at a tepid 7. Thus even if the tracks WERE good/catchy, then you wouldn't be able to hear it through his singing. // 3

Lyrics: Oh, lovely. In the majority of the CD - all of it, actually - it's Jonny Davy, the singer, complaining about humanity. This is alright. Cool. I'm all up for bashing the human race, especially under conditions where it's deserved. But the presentation is a joke. He does these random vocal harmonies with himself scattered throughout the songs. He blends it in with the chaotic music quite well. Jonny Davy is a unique singer once more, because he uses his highs again, as well as lows. Good screamer. So not terrible. By the way? To all death metal bands: No one wants your only word that you scream clearly and understandably in your entire album to be "masturbate" (Constitutional Masturbation). // 7

Overall Impression: Listening to this for a full day over and over, trying my hardest to like it just gave me this disappointing conclusion: This album is not good. I loved Doom. I've loved Doom for over 2 years straight. I still listen to it, practically religiously. Was it their most technical CD, or skillful? No. Was it the cleanest? No. Was it good? My god, yes. I was talking earlier about how none of the songs on Ruination are really catchy. Listen to the end of Suspended by the Throat off of Doom. THAT was a good guitar line. And I have no idea why they abandoned all of their fans who realized that they had something going for them just to please the death metal crowd. For those of you who can get into music that isn't necessarily catchy or amusing, and is just pure, unorganized chaos... I guess you'd like this album. They did a great job in that respect. But for those of us who like guitar lines that you actually play over and over in your mind because they are so good, or ANY instrument line, then flee from the city. The other reviewer mentioned something about most bands "throwing s*** at a studio window and making it into a CD", or something along those lines, then saying that JFAC is not an example of this. He's right. They peeled parts of the s*** off of the window, sorted through it to find the most potent and disgusting parts of it, and THEN put them into a blender with their former reputation as a respectable metal band before dishing it out to the masses. If this album was stolen from me, I would hunt down the man who stole it from me, tackle him, and then tell him to not listen to this. Not even a thief deserves something this terrible. // 3

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overall: 8.7
Ruination Reviewed by: mafoogles, on september 08, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ok, so I'm doing my best on this to try and make up for the other two reviews. The first one was just a guy who thought that this was the most brutal album ever, and the other guy did nothing but bash it. It's his opinion that he didn't like the album, but I want to give a positive review on why the album was awesome. The band is definatley a well oiled machine on this album. The riffs are technical, but at the same time very catchy ( contrary to what was said in the other review). For instance, the main riff to unfurling a darkend gospel is really catchy, aswell as the beggining to ruination. Also, this isnt an album of pure speed and testosterone the entire time. It does have points where it slows down. Overall, it is a really good death metal album that I would recomend to any fan. // 9

Lyrics: one of the highlights of Job For A Cowboy is Johnny Davy. He has an incredibly awsome voice. Very gutteral growl with a good high, but not quite as good as say trevor strand from the black Daliha Murder. His lyrics kind of lose points for me, I love bands that do political lyrics, as long as they are done well (i.e. Rage Against The Machine, Bad Religion). Unfortunatley, I wasn't a huge fan of the lyrics on this album. but, most of the time you can't hear the words anyways, soit dosent really matter. and when you can hear the vocal lines its usually pretty awsome sounding (i.e. in the title track, when he says "in the wake of a nuclear war", I thought that sounded badass) overall an 8 form me, for a great vocalist who just didn't do a great job (for me) at writing lyrics. // 8

Overall Impression: The guitar playing: with the addition of al glassman, it gave some of the parts a grindier feel to them. He is a great addition to the band, also stopping the band from tuning to drop-A (in a guitar world interview, they said they are tuning to D-standard on this album) some wierdly times riffs and catchy ass guitar lines, these guys did a great job on this album. Bass: couldnt really hear it most of the time, he dosent really stray from the guitar lines to much, making him kind of blend in. I'm a guitar player, but I really like when bands like cannibal corpse put the bass higher in the mix, it makes the overall sound better in my opinion. I will give him points for probably the most badass stretched ears ever though (haha) The drums: John Rice is not the worlds best drummer, but he's good at what he does. he plays what is nescasary to make the song a better song, and makes it a better record because of it. Overall, a smart drummer who isnt the most technically skillful, but good none the less. Overall, this is an awsome record. If you are a death metal fan, don't get all pissed because this is the band that recorded doom, they have changed ALOT. The only original members are johnny and maybe the bass player (I'm not sure). Just go check out this album. if this where stolen, I would definatley go get another copy, its an awsome album! // 9

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