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Kill ‘Em Dead Cowboy – I Am Salvation

February 7, 2011 by  

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Kill ‘Em Dead Cowboy – I Am Salvation

NAME: Kill ‘Em Dead Cowboy
ALBUM: I Am Salvation
DATE: 14February2011

LABEL: Lockjaw Records


FIVE WORD REVIEW: Little variation; lots of noise.

LOCATION: Portsmouth, England

LINE UP: Olie (drums), Jim (guitar), Sam/’Mugsy’ (vocals), Bloomie (bass), Joedy (guitar).

Kill 'Em Dead Cowboy - I Am Salvation.jpg

WHAT’S THE STORY?: Elsewhere on the interwebs, this release has been described as having “some signs of real genius at work” and as an album that “fiercely flaunts [the band’s] talent”. It’s hard to agree with either of those statements, particularly if you like a bit of variety.

Then again, metalcore isn’t known for having the most approachable style or wide boundaries primed for diversity, so it may be a bit of a crass judgement. While debut album I Am Salvation isn’t exactly mindblowing, Kill ‘Em Dead Cowboy showcase some genuine instrumental ability, particularly in the bass-happy drumming and lead guitar work.

As such, there’s the odd glimmer of enjoyment to be had from I Am Salvation, starting with opener ‘Wake Up’. The indecipherable anger of vocalist Mugsy can’t wait to get in the way of a cracking opening riff, though as the drums take over while he’s screaming, you learn to ignore the shouty hatred as the excellent percussion works its way around the bass and guitar. Vocal harmonies throughout the album also help take the edge his throaty disgust, which never really lets up.

A strange thing happens between opener ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Silence Falls’, the second track, which effectively sets a weird precedent for the rest of the album. The two offerings show such little variation that the fade out – which is spectacularly timed – just makes the next song sound like the second part of the ditty. And then it happens again with third track ‘Save Ourselves’. Sigh.

It’s at this point that you just want to switch I Am Salvation off, or at least turn it down, because you feel like you’re not getting anything new – and so early on, too. It’s hard to guess whether or not the juxtaposition and possible mixing of tracks was purposefully meant, though if it was, it hurts the individuality of the songs.

There are some glimmers of hope in the release, though. Title tune ‘I Am Salvation’ offers a nice, relaxed little opening, but you just sit and wait for the rage to commence (and it does). It’s almost orchestral, though, like Dimmu Borgir, yet mercifully short, putting a vital break in the album with its dual approach.

Alongside this, ‘Lust & Lies Spell Flashing Lights’ sounds like perfect music for the menu on a damage-based racing game akin to Destruction Derby 2 or Demolition Racer, with its more enjoyable fretwork. The headbang-encouraging ‘Knife Fights & Butterflies’ – a hilarious title for a metalcore song if ever there was one – may remind you of Mastodon due to its deceptive changes in speed, despite not affecting beats per minute. ‘Where Flowers Lay’ has some brilliant standalone guitar playing, too.

Still, it’s nothing massively special. Kill ‘Em Dead Cowboy are talented musicians, just not particularly special at combining their undeniable individual abilities to create variety. The vocals could do with work too, as they only seem to feel like meaning anything when matched with harmonies.

SOUNDS LIKE: An extended musical essay about unjustified anger.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You like their first song. Most of the album is essentially that tune with minor adjustments.


Submitted By Matt Gardner



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