There's an odd trend among metal bands: having a logo in a font that screams "extreme and dangerous!" merely because of how hard it is to read. Most also have band names that are similarly gruesome -- "Decapitated Midget Fetus," for example. But not Arizona death-metal outfit Job for a Cowboy. This metal band makes up for its restrained packaging simply by being better than most other metal bands. Seems like a fair trade-off.
Located somewhere in the dark forest between death metal and metalcore, Job for a Cowboy combines the unrelenting blast beats of the former with the serrated-edged riffing of the latter, then mixes in the commanding, guttural howl of Jonny Davy. This is metal that makes Metallica sound like Wham!
So when Job for a Cowboy's 2007 debut LP, Genesis, hit No. 54 on the Billboard 200 charts, the band was as surprised as anyone.
"We definitely weren't expecting that record to do so well coming out of the gate," says guitarist Bobby Thompson. "We were astonished when we saw the Billboard post."
What wasn't surprising was the backlash; in a genre as esoteric as extreme metal, the Billboard charts aren't the greatest place to be, especially with a debut. Job for a Cowboy spent the past three years proving detractors wrong; by the time Ruination hit last year, the band had climbed the ranks of underground metal through crushing live shows with the likes of metal heavies Lamb of God and Shadows Fall.
Forget about the un-metal name; this is no job for sissies.
Job for a Cowboy with Whitechapel, Cattle Decapitation and Gaza. 7 p.m. Thu., April 29 (doors at 6 p.m.). Mr. Small's Theatre, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $15. All ages. 412-821-4447 or www.mrsmalls.com