Returning with their strongest line up to date and armed with “Demonocracy”, nine tracks of seething aggression and potent disgust, Job For A Cowboy have never sounded hungrier. Over the nine years of their existence the quintet have built a loyal fan base through their devotion to touring and a diehard commitment to creating relentlessly hostile, visceral, and involving music, and in 2012 they stand as one of the most exciting and inspiring bands in death metal.
With the critical praise and fan adoration bestowed upon 2009’s Ruination, it would have been easy for the band to rest upon their laurels and serve up Ruination Part II. But from the moment Demonocracy roars to life it is wholly evident that this is a far tighter, meaner, and more musically accomplished beast that takes their signature sound to the next level. From the abrasive blast of opener “Children Of Deceit” to the disconcerting strains of “The Deity Misconception” or the brooding, epic closer “Tarnished Gluttony” (which was co-written by former guitarist Bobby Thompson, who retains close ties to the band) everything is drenched in equal parts misanthropy and naked rage, and from start to finish they hold the listener by the throat. “We approached this record with the mindset of everyone just being as creative as they wanted, and I think the result is something that is quite a bit different to everything we’ve done before,” states vocalist Jonny Davy. “I still love Ruination, but it just seems immature in comparison to Demonocracy, and we’re really proud of that progression.”
A key factor in this progression was the change in the band’s ranks, which saw Davy, drummer Jon “Charn” Rice, and guitarist Al Glassman joined by guitarist Tony Sannicandro, who met Al when he was a session guitarist for Despised Icon and filled the slot vacated by Thompson, and Cephalic Carnage bassist Nick Schendzielos replacing Brent Riggs. Having initially brought Sannicandro and Schendzielos on as touring musicians, the members immediately gelled, and they first wrote together on 2011’s Gloom EP, sealing the deal and securing their places as full-fledged members of the band. “The addition of these two guys took any and every limitation off of this band. If I could think it, they could play it or think of something even better,” Glassman says, also insisting that Sannicandro’s incredible musicianship forced him to up his own game. “Getting to play with Tony every day was the first time in a long time that I have been pushed this hard as a player just trying to keep up. Collaborating with him was fucking awesome in that no matter how ridiculous my ideas were he could play them!”
Twenty-one-year-old six-stringer Sannicandro also believes he made a very natural transition into the band’s ranks, and he’s proud to bring his blistering shredding and punishing riffs to Job For A Cowboy’s instantly recognizable sound. “I think I bring more of an old school guitar approach to the band. Obviously before the band got me there wasn’t a lot of soloing or lead stuff, and on the new CD there’s a solo on every song, and I think I’ve done the best work of my life on there,” he states. Equally, no one can doubt Schendzielos’ musical pedigree and formidable skills, and the bassist is looking to really make a mark through his work with the band. “It’s really invigorating that the cats in JFAC are into my style because there is such a great expanse of uncharted territory for bass in metal,” he states. “Cephalic is notorious for our chaotic and vigorous live performances alongside an expansive and dilatant range of metal stylings. I’m bringing all that knowledge and experience with me and combining it with the talents of these phenomenal musicians to make my best bass work to date.”
Working again with producer Jason Suecof (The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel) who helmed Ruination and Gloom, the band were assured of making a record that emphasized their dynamics and captured the raw energy at the heart of everything they do. “We just love Jason’s input,” Davy enthuses. “He’s an amazing guitar player, and he knows what he’s talking about. He knows how to find the sound you’re looking for, and when we’re in the studio we really do consider his opinions as if he’s another member of the band.” On Demonocracy Suecof has helped forge an expansive, layered sound that is constantly underpinned by a palpably sinister vibe. It also makes for the band’s most cohesive work to date, which was an important factor in approaching the record. “We wanted the songs to fit together and flow more – not in a concept album kind of way or through having similarities between the songs, but we wanted it to be a record that has a very deliberate progression, rather than it sounding like a bunch of songs thrown together, and I think we achieved that,” Sannicandro states. While the band has long been saddled with the deathcore banner, the guitarist also believes that this record will finally slam the door in the face of such labeling. “I just don’t see any ‘core influence in there anymore. Maybe there was a little, once, and if you really want to call it deathcore I don’t care, but everything on this record is metal, through and through, and I think people hearing it will realize that pretty quickly.”
Alongside such a savage sonic battery, Davy worked to once more write lyrics that have genuine meaning, and that might give listeners reason to stop and think. “Ruination was a very politically themed record and this one is as well. I’m a guy who loves bands like Napalm Death and Misery Index, bands that stray away from talking about blood, gore, and murder – the stereotypical themes of what you’d normally think of as death metal. Don’t get me wrong, I love that in other bands, but I guess I have kind of a punk rock attitude, and I try to cover topics that have a bit more meaning to them,” he explains. On Demonocracy the themes of media propaganda, the ‘war industry’ that seemingly drives contemporary political and economic policies, and the crippling debts faced by America are all touched upon, Davy providing an honest and caustic commentary on these issues, holding nothing back.
Released on 10th April on Metal Blade Records
For more information: www.myspace.com/jobforacowboy