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Generic and forgettable - 49%

masscows, November 30th, 2007

Upon hearing that Job for a Cowboy was preparing to put out their first full-length album, I was somewhat eager to hear how this band would evolve. After their somewhat entertaining (even if it was just an average novelty release) Metalcore-ish Death Metal EP, Doom, a lot of people, myself included, were awaiting this band’s debut. Upon first listen, a few things are obvious:

A) It is certainly Death Metal-any Metalcore they had going on their previous release is all but made away with.
B) For better or for worse, there are no more pig squeals.
C) A lot more melody is subtly thrown into the mix.

Even though Job for a Cowboy grew out of the Deathcore trend, there really isn’t much separating this album from many of the other modern Death Metal releases. While this album shows growth on the band members’ part, there isn’t anything terribly creative or original on this album. To boot, the band often fails to differentiate between tracks, leaving many of them hard to remember even after a few listens.

Genesis is one of those albums that just gets more and more boring the more you listen to it. Many of the rhythms, while brutal, are awfully recycled and generic, often times degrading to E-String whoring to make one riff different from another. This tends to give each song roughly the same texture and feeling as the last, making the album, for the most part, very one-dimensional. More often than not, the drumming saves the tracks from all sounding exactly the same, as Elliot Sellers (who, to my understanding, played drums on this album shortly before he quit the band) does have a highly diverse arsenal of talents behind the kit.

While Genesis does offer some more technical and melodic moments, halfway through the album you find yourself thinking Didn’t I hear that lead on Track X? Many of the leads, if not close to being exactly the same, are the same flurry of notes in a different order. This, again, doesn’t help the fact that the album is already very one-dimensional. The solos, when used, do help to pull some of the tracks out of the mire and into “just another Death Metal song” territory. While not all that technical, they lend a helping hand to the flow of the songs they're used in and take away from the aforementioned one-dimensionality.

There are, however, a couple tracks that show more promise than the rest of the album. Embedded is a song that starts brutal, climbs down into mid-tempo territory and closes with a few bars of startlingly calming and melodic riffs with a well-crafted solo mixed in. The gloomy, doomy The Divine Falsehood, while not the best song of its type, shows that the band is at least trying to switch it up, as it is drastically different from the rest of the songs and offers a much-needed shift in gears.

The highlight of this album, really, is the lyrics. Genesis is a concept album covering the occurrence of the events as predicted in the Book of Revelations in the Bible. Naturally, they are a modern interpretation of the story, so there is a lot of lyrical content that covers technology and world government and how the Anti-Christ used them to make Earth the domain of Satan. Even if this sounds like a lame topic for an album, I recommend you at least give them a read, and if you have the album, to read along as you play the album to capture the full effect of them. Many-a-metalhead will tell you that you shouldn’t judge a metal band by their lyrics, but when they’re as good as this, they really deserve to be mentioned.

The vocals are another highlight. While many of Job for a Cowboy’s scenester fans were put off by Jonny Davy’s eschewing of the pig squeals that helped to popularize the band, he is much better off sticking with his staccato growling and shrieking that he has all but mastered on this record.

Job for a Cowboy certainly has potential, and Genesis’ best moments show it well. However, a few solid moments aren’t going to save a record littered with completely forgettable and uncreative moments from being mediocre. This album is average, not in every aspect, but there are certainly enough less-than average moments that would warrant such a rating when coupled with its good parts.

Pros
-Good vocals
-Good lyrics
-No more metalcore
-Good drumming

Cons
-Generic
-Forgettable
-Very, very short (Although, some haters might see this as a pro)
-Feels very recycled towards the middle-end

Originally written by me for http://www.sputnikmusic.com