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JOB FOR A COWBOY Moon Healer

By Nathan Dufour, Great White North
Friday, April 12, 2024 @ 10:04 AM


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JOB FOR A COWBOY
Moon Healer

2024, Metal Blade




Back in the day, before this was all farmland and variations on Scrabble, the keen nascent social media user could pick their favourite friends and force them to listen to music on MySpace. These dark ages of yesternet were bookended by DeviantArt and Live Journal with sprinklings of white belts and skinny jeans for added effect. So, kinda like now, again? My point is that somewhere I still have a MySpace account, but more importantly - much like the horrors which persist - JOB FOR A COWBOY has also returned from the past, for the future!

And lo! MySpace begat Facebook, a bigger badder version of itself with a much larger audience, for better or for worse. In a similar pupa to butterfly tale, the current incarnation of JOB FOR A COWBOY is unrecognizable when compared to its infancy, spreading its wings wide in defiance of its original expected lifespan. Moon Healer punches up, way up, calls Rusty and shoots for our nearest celestial neighbor with reckless and stupefying abandon.

I cannot for the life of me think of any band aside from JFAC that got popular because of MySpace and actually endured, maintaining relevance and growing as an artistic entity at the same time. This isn't to say there aren't other examples - I just can't think of any that shine as brightly, I guess, is a more fair explanation of the thought process. Back with new album Moon Healer, JOB FOR A COWBOY are here to bare their teeth and rip you to shreds, while shredding.

Before you know it, the album is over and you will be left wondering what the hell just happened and if there is more coming. I can't think of a better or more positive reaction to a piece of music - wherein the listener is totally unaware of the passage of time and equally unaware that time has, in fact, passed. The entirety of Moon Healer captivates and ensnares with the surety of annihilation promised by the great vacuum of space. It is the sound not only of inevitability but also of progressive technical death metal done right, right now. Moon Healer is a showcase of showcases, a masterclass in the art of getting your listener to impersonate a dashboard bobble head accessory. It's just that good, from front to back, each track a standout and standalone triumph of both form and execution.

Let's take a moment to discuss that cover art (done without AI in case you wondered or cared. I'm sure there are plenty enough fingers and hands). It's like NOCTURNUS A.D. crossed paths with TOOL and then Skeletor shows up breathing fire while Chtulu gently dreams. Bonkers. It's bonkers - and indicative of the journey contained within. Moon Healer spins heads and hair, a frenzied and frothing (ultimately moshing) pit of the gnarliest death prog this side of the void.

Picking out a standout track or tracks here is an exercise in futility but I would be remiss if I did not touch on the fact that Moon Healer is not only JOB FOR A COWBOY at their peak so far, it is also a vehicle to show off the impenetrable rhythm section of Nick Schendzielos and Navene Koperweis (also of several bands you should absolutely know about so Google). The writing here is so strong that neither of these men will ever need to eat spinach again.

Bottom line: Go stream Moon Healer without preconception and get launched someplace beyond the stratosphere of this insignificant pale blue dot. In these trying times (which is all times), we as a species need music more than ever. Get some. Oh, and pay for it, also, because late stage capitalism and people need to eat.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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