Kill 'em Dead Cowboy

I Am Salvation

Written by: AP on 06/04/2011 22:33:28

Kill 'em Dead Cowboy take great pride in admitting their music is difficult to classify, which is why I take great pride in having deciphered the "signs of genius at work" on their debut album, "I am Salvation", in a matter of seconds. Textbook metalcore is the name of the game, and little league is the ballpark. For in a laborious effort to dissect and analyse the painstakingly long compilation of, undoubtedly, every song the band has ever written, it occurred to me that above all Kill 'em Dead Cowboy sound like hobbyists, rehashing the infinitely better ideas of their established peers.

Indeed, the overall impression that songs like "Wake Up" and "Silence Falls" create is a blistering mess. The vocal department consists of multiple layers of run-of-the-mill growling à la Ed Butcher (formerly of I Killed the Prom Queen) and - to some extent - Alex Varkatzas (of Atreyu), and atonal clean harmonies that sound strained at best, and completely at odds with each other at worst. Instrumentally the album lacks as much heart as it does depth, becoming duller and more clichéd with every passing song (with the exception of the title tune intermezzo, which brings to mind the better aspects of This or the Apocalypse), and completely fails at conducting emotions. The songwriting is bludgeoningly two-dimensional, ripe with moments that evoke positive recognition, but too chaotic and incoherent to facilitate any meaning.

What needs to happen, if Kill 'em Dead Cowboy hope to make it through the year in the competitive environment of metalcore, is an epiphany of some kind. The band needs to stop thinking along the lines of "how do we get as many moshpits going as possible during every song, and then how do we get the angst-ridden voices of teenagers to resound in the venue as often as possible" and concentrate on their strengths - the occasional intriguing guitar harmony and sprawling crescendo, as in "Dead & Gone" and "Where Flowers Lay". In their current state the songs are crying for structure, character, and the eradication of the atrocious clean vocals.


Download: I am Salvation, Dead & Gone, "Where Flowers Lay"
For the fans of: (very old) Billy Boy in Poison, Honour is Dead, When I'm Dead
Listen: Myspace

Release date 14.02.2011
Lockjaw Records

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