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THE COWBOYS FROM HELL

Eclectic Prog • Switzerland


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The Cowboys From Hell biography
Fresh, for now, as a progressive rock market band, the Swiss trio named COWBOYS FROM HELL is yet an interesting-looking new group, with their debut album (recorded in 2007 but released only up in the first months of 2008) sounding pretty slick. Combining the ideal of entertaining fresh music with those of funk-jazz sessions, creative band strumming and deep, at times improvised, rock, the result of their music and activity goes overall the same, with only a slight detail that the "fun" in their music is worthwhile and pleasant, but shining through are the impressions that, however described, the band is close to a progressive art rock booking, musically and essentially.

Saxophonist and electronic-effects-passionate Christophe Irniger, bassist Richard Pechota and drummer Chrigel Bosshard form the bit unconventional in sound and heartbeat ensemble, playing as COWBOYS FROM HELL since at least 2006 - based on what concerts/appearances feedback tell us. Each artist comes with a powerful background - even with proper studies as an instrumentist - COWBOYS FROM HELL being, relatively, one out of many bands, collaborations and practices for each member aside.

The band is already prodigious thanks to a healthy number of concerts, which - despite not being part of incredibly notable festivals, nor describing entirely the affinity for progressive rock - create the solid ground for the positive credits they've received so far. Not just once, the trio has been regarded (or simply gave the impression) that, on stage, they electrify and groove through their music. Reshaped in a first major studio recording ("Monster Rodeo"), the effort seems to have the same qualities. Styles and dynamic tones are explored under a regular sign of variety, a boosting blend of rock, jazz and funk steams through the pores of the music (electronic and groove snaps combining hard with the primary styles) and the artistic side in the entire tune 'n' groove soon manages to escape any hard-boiled, technical or stirred-up flaws.

Whether it's hard or not to point out what influences are precisely behind COWBOYS FROM HELL's mature spirit, dishing through the music is the essential part. The band name is taken for sure from metal band Pantera's fifth or so album, couple of more motives and titles softly paraphrase Rage Against The Machine or such, whilst their music is often described as "pleasing" for Zappa, flash-jazz and groove-rock fans. Inside an album made of original com...
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Big FishBig Fish
DOUBLE MOON 2012
Audio CD$9.89
Monster RodeoMonster Rodeo
Import
2008
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THE COWBOYS FROM HELL discography


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THE COWBOYS FROM HELL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.10 | 2 ratings
Monster Rodeo
2007
4.00 | 2 ratings
Big Fish
2012

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THE COWBOYS FROM HELL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Monster Rodeo by COWBOYS FROM HELL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.10 | 2 ratings

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Monster Rodeo
The Cowboys From Hell Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars If nothing else the Cowboys From Hell certainly cover a lot of musical ground on this, their debut album. Or at least they do on the first few tracks; after that, the trio seem to settle into a bit of a pattern that probably reflects their relative inexperience as a recording act.

The group is Swiss but German leanings come through in the form of often heavy bass and guitar riffs; strident, almost shouted vocals (though after the opening "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Cow" there isn't a lot of singing); and a vague Krautrock mood in the overall production, again mostly on the songs that have vocals.

Beyond that the band owes a debt to Zappa and the Mothers as well as a bit of Velvet Underground as they mix rock instrumentation with cool jazzy brass, as well as extended instrumental pieces with a free-form feel punctuated by periods of heavy riffs and an almost post-rock vibe. The instrumental "Dunschtig" has a rhythm that's a cross between late seventies New-Wave and the President of the United States of America's mid-nineties hit "Lump" along with a maddeningly familiar saxophone arrangement that sounds a bit like the faux-jazz eighties band Group 87, which coincidently was formed by former Mothers touring members bassist Patrick O'Hearn and drummer Terry Bozzio.

"Schiller", "Lonesome Bill" and "Chrampf" are all based on fairly precise mathmatical jazz constructions with little improvisation, while "Halloween" gets funky with digitized effects atop a mostly drum-driven arrangement and "Cowboys against the Machine" is a heavier, quite Krautrock-sounding number with sometimes shouted vocals somewhat in the vein of the Velvet Underground/Zappa disciples Plastic People of the Universe. The closing "Iphigenia" seems to be almost completely improvised around saxophone and simple basslines.

The one really pleasant surprise is an engaging instrumental cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" (titled "Sounds of Silence" here) with saxophone and keyboards replacing guitar. In fact, it wasn't until this, the fourth track, that I realized there weren't any guitars on this album.

This is a really promising trio that plays a lot bigger than their numbers, and I'd really like to see something new from them in the near future. Based on their website the group seems to still be together and touring their region, but with no signs of newly recorded material. Too bad. A highly recommended album and a very solid three out of five star effort, maybe just shy of four stars.

peace

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