KILL ‘EM DEAD COWBOY: ‘I Am Salvation.’


 I feel like I’ve heard this album before. More to the point, I feel like I’ve turned this album off after 10 minutes before. 

I certainly don’t mean that as an insult to the band or their work, on the contrary – there is a lot to like here. But this particular collection of songs is just an exhausting assault.  

Portsmouth’s Kill ‘Em Dead Cowboy are one of a spate of UK “Metalcore” acts (part of me really hopes that someone in the music industry has the specific role of coming up with new names for genres, but I digress) that have launched in the last few years whose only distinction, paradoxically, is that they all sound pretty much the same. 

In fact, sameness is a problem rife throughout ‘I Am Salvation’ – no one track jumps out as being any different or any better than those surrounding it. 

Every track consists of heavy guitar riffs and pounding drums, driving constantly at you. Additionally, while the press notes would have you believe that the album contains “captivating vocal melodies” – lead vocalist “Mugsy” seldom does anything other than growl incomprehensibly. But then, this is probably for the best, as the few attempts to sing on the album demonstrate that this particular skill isn’t really within his wheelhouse. 

Single “Lust & Lies Spell Flashing Lights” unfortunately is a particular showcase for this – although part of me wonders if the atonality of the chorus is deliberate and I just “don’t get it”. 

The highlight of the album is actually the last minute seconds of final track “Burn Alive” as this is the first time the band gives you any respite, slowing down the pace and adding strings – almost sedating you on the way out of the album and calming you back down after the blistering musical attack of the previous 47 minutes. 

The truth is, this album is just too long and if it were tighter, and had taken more moments like the closing seconds of “Burn Alive” to slow down for a second and allow the listener to breathe there would probably be a very good composition in there. 

But, as it stands, it’s just too brutal a listen to be something you would re-visit over and over. 

(5/10) 

(Released through Lockjaw Records on 14th February 2011)  

Kenneth John Porteous

About Cee Tee Jackson

I run three blogs: 1) ceeteejackson.com (my author blog.) 2) leadingpetcare.com (my business / dog walking blog) 3) loudhorizon.wordpress.com (my music blog .. infrequent posts) Guess what? I'm a dog walking, wannabee author that loves music.
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2 Responses to KILL ‘EM DEAD COWBOY: ‘I Am Salvation.’

  1. Mr. Fern says:

    What are you on about. This website is absolutely pathetic. The album is gold. So you’ll take a cheap shot at Mugsy? And just push them into that metalcore genre? Just another band? Get Real, they’re not, and they tear the place up live, every one of the 11 times I’ve seen them. This review is garbage, with absolutely no critical merit. I know this band personally. This band have channeled their heart, and soul, blood and sweat into this record, and had the heart to keep this album at a price that doesn’t exploit audiences like this KERRANG! covered BS does. This is a raw, gritty, ugly and human record. There’s no post-production “studio magic” just 5 guys and they do, what they do, better than you. the music industry is dying, and it’s pathetic websites like this that demand “gleaming producers” and “post production wizardry” and throw away the talent on display, that are killing it. Mark my words.

  2. master says:

    I know the band personally, and Mr. Fern above, is known to the band. In fact he is very much known to them

    AS THEIR STALKER!!

    The album isn’t very well produced, and the drums are a bit garbage, as well as the vocals. They haven’t taken the path of a lot (ANY?) of studio wizardry, and in these times, is a bad decision in my opinion.

    Music unfortunately is a business, and ask yourself this…would you book/buy/go see a band with an album of good songs recorded poorly, or a band with an album of good songs recorded very well??

    Exactly!!

    So a message to the band.

    Next recording, plough your heart and soul into the production a lot more. It’s not a true representation of how a band sounds, but it is expected in these times we live in.

    And to Mr. Fern!!! stop stalking them!! ha ha

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