Monday, January 3, 2011

Job for a Cowboy - Live Ruination EP (2010)

While I doubt Live Ruination is going to be of much interest to even the most beer goggled deathcore maven, the band have decided to release the EP digitally through iTunes for all those that weren't able to experience the bonus content on their Ruination vinyl release. So yes, this is not exactly new material, but helps the digitally exclusive inclined to find themselves on equal footing with the collectors. That said, this is primarily just a live offering, with one exception that took me by surprise: an Exhumed cover! Yes, the Arizona starlets have decided to tackle "The Matter of Splatter", and though it's anyone's guess whether the 2003 original (from Anatomy in Destiny) is even recent enough to be dredged up as a cover, the band do a decent job of applying their mentors' influence without copying them directly.

Unfortunately, the song is good enough that it makes the band's original tracks in the live setting seem so much less appealing. Now, I actually did not scoff at Job for a Cowboy's 2007 effort Genesis, which is one of the better albums of this style that I've been exposed to (largely because it's almost pure death metal), and there are two tracks incorporated from there, namely "Embedded" and "Altered from Catechization", but they don't really offer much compelling evidence that I'd want to see the band in the live setting. Tight and accurate, sure, but it's not as if the material is raving good to begin with. "Unfurling a Darkened Gospel" and "Regurgitated Disinformation" are taken from the more recent Ruination album, and "Entombment of a Machine" is drawn from the admittedly weak Doom EP back in 2005, and though I don't care for the tracks, they're do at least sound consistent live with the better material.

Even if you're stark mad over a Job for the Cowboy, this EP would not be worth the asking price, as the live components are fairly mediocre. If you've got the vinyl, well congratulations, the Exhumed cover must be a decent addition to a rather average collection of originals. I understand that the band is rather 'hot' in that they are able to move records, but this is the sort of release I really hate to see. They could have just as easily dropped these tracks over their MySpace or Facebook page for free downloads and spared their fans the six bones. However, if times are truly this dire, I'll make sure to contact my local UNICEF and send a donation to all the starving deathcore kids.

Verdict: Fail [3/10]

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