Job for a Cowboy is an American death metal band. Best known as one of the pioneers of the deathcore genre, the band has since turned away from that era and completely changed their sound as a way of distancing themselves from it. Fairly or unfairly, they have become one of the biggest names in modern death metal, having played on numerous high-profile fests and tours in addition to being one of Metal Blade Records' flagship artists.

Formed in Glendale, Arizona in late 2003 by Jonny Davy (vocals), Ravi Bhadriraju and Andrew Arcurio (guitars), Chad Staples (bass), and Andy Rysdam (drums), the band quickly created a [=MySpace=] profile and accompanying demo and attracted a fair bit of traffic from around the world; in spite of this, Staples and Rysdam left shortly after the demo was released and were replaced by Brent Riggs and Elliott Sellers, respectively, though their popularity was not affected in the slightest. Said popularity rose immensely in 2005 with the release of the ''Doom'' EP, which was quickly followed by a distribution deal with a nearby indie label. Extensive promotion followed, and 2006 brought with it even more in the form of a deal with Metal Blade Records and the acquisition of professional management, along with a rerelease of ''Doom'' by said label. Rysdam, however, left, resulting in Bobby Thompson taking his place. This lineup then began writing for a full-length, though Sellers announced that he would depart in order to pursue higher education after the recording process was finished. As such, the band posted a bulletin requesting a new drummer on Blabbermouth, which was read by Jon Rice, who subsequently recorded a video of his playing that he uploaded to [=YouTube=] and sent to the band. He got the job shortly after.

2007 brought with it the release of ''Genesis'', their full-length debut, which was a complete change of sound. Instead of sticking with the deathcore sound that had made them famous, they switched to a straightforward death metal sound. This was soon followed by numerous high-profile tours along with an appearance at Download. This continued into 2008 with a spot on Gigantour, not to mention their Wacken debut and second Download appearance. A headlining tour came later in the year, along with Ravi's departure due to his desire to go to med school. Alan Glassman of Goratory and Despised Icon fame quickly took his place, thereby creating the ''Ruination'' lineup. Said album was released in the summer of 2009 and was quickly followed with an appearance on the Mayhem Fest. More touring followed that year, and 2010 brought much of the same. 2011 was kicked off with the groundwork for a new EP; as the band was about to record, Riggs and Thompson departed and were replaced by [[Music/CephalicCarnage Nick Schendzielos]], along with Tony Sannicandro, a relatively unknown young gun from Massachusetts. The limited-edition ''Gloom'' EP quickly followed, which was distributed solely by mail-order before being made available for digital download, as the physical release was limited to 2,500 copies. Preparations for a new full-length came shortly after.

2012 was kicked off by a co-headlining tour with Music/DyingFetus; come April, ''Demonocracy'' was also out. More touring followed, including an appearance on the Summer Slaughter and a winter co-headliner with Cephalic Carnage. 2013 was, once again, more of the same, with a European tour starting things off, along with a support slot on the second half of Hatebreed's album support tour and an announced return to the Mayhem Fest. Needless to say, things certainly aren't looking bad for them, though Rice did decide to leave in November of 2013 for undisclosed reasons, though the split was apparently amicable. A full-time replacement has not been announced, though Danny Walker (of Intronaut fame) has been announced as a session drummer for their upcoming fourth full-length. That album, ''Sun Eater'', will hit shelves November 11, 2014. Nothing has really happened since then; aside from Schendzielos joining Music/{{Havok}} and the band's van (which was owned by Glassman and was being used as a work van in lieu of touring) catching on fire and being absolutely gutted at a work site, all has been quiet on the [=JfaC=] front. A glimmer of hope finally appeared in 2016, when the band announced a slot on the Modified Ghost Fest in Vancouver and also welcomed Rice back in, but it is unknown how much action will be seen from here on out, as Jonny is busy with a kid, school, and a full-time job, while Glassman has reformed Goratory and Schendzielos is busy with Havok; Tony has largely stuck to working at his day job. According to Schendzielos, they are writing material for a fifth full-length; Tony has about four songs done and Schendzielos apparently has various parts ready, and the band apparently also wants to get back into touring. The only other update since then has been a brief video on Facebook of Davy and Glassman hanging out in what appears to be the latter's backyard while Glassman noodles on a banjo, which may be a further indication of continued life (as Davy still lives in Arizona and wouldn't really have any other reasons to venture over to New Hampshire). In addition, Nick has privately told fans that yes, they are still a thing, yes, they are working on a new album, yes, it will eventually come out, and no, they don't know when, and live appearances are still up in the air. Whoever runs the band's Facebook page publicly reiterated most of these points in November of 2017 when responding to a fan's complaints about their recent silence, so it can safely be said that they will eventually resurface.
* ''Demo 04''
* ''Doom'' (2005) - rereleased by Metal Blade in 2006 with a bonus track
* ''Genesis'' (2007)
* ''Unfurling a Darkened Gospel'' (2009) - digital single
* ''Ruination'' (2009)
* ''Live Ruination'' (2010) - digital-only EP, consists of bonus tracks from LP edition of ''Ruination''
* ''Misery Reformatory'' (2011) - digital single
* ''Gloom'' (2011) - EP, had limited physical release but is now digital-only
* ''Demonocracy'' (2012)
* ''Sun Eater'' (2014)
The band contains examples of the following tropes:
* AscendedExtra: Sannicandro and Schendzielos started as emergency fill-ins after Bobby Thompson and Brent Riggs left shortly before a tour before being asked to join full-time.
* ChildPopstar: None of the members were older than 16 when they formed and started to gain fame. Funnily enough, this was also true of Alan Glassman by way of Goratory, as he was in his mid-teens when that band formed (he wasn't even the youngest, either; [[Music/{{Sexcrement}} Adam Mason]] was only ''fourteen'' when they formed, with the other members generally hovering around that age range except for [[Music/{{Abnormality}} Jay Blaisdell]], who was the only member over the age of twenty at the time that they formed).
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Nick has a rather strange sense of humor.
* ConceptAlbum: ''Genesis'' and ''Sun Eater''.
* CoverVersion: "[[Music/{{Exhumed}} The Matter of Splatter]]".
* {{Deathcore}}: Started out as this and served as one of the most prominent early examples of the genre along with The Red Chord, Despised Icon, All Shall Perish, and Suicide Silence, but they haven't sounded like this for years and chalked that sound up to their being young and having no idea how to write and play death metal.
* DeathMetal: ''Genesis'' onwards. ''Ruination'' also had some brutal death elements thanks to Glassman.
* EpicRocking: "Eating the Visions of God" (6:30), "Worming Nightfall" (6:20), "Tarnished Gluttony" (6:16), "The Celestial Antidote" (6:08), and "March to Global Enslavement" (6:05).
* EveryCarIsAPinto: Glassman was using their van for work when it spontaneously caught on fire at a job site one day. The vehicle was completely destroyed and the fire department was not able to determine the cause, but photos of the van during the fire show that the fire clearly did not start in the engine or under the vehicle, suggesting electrical issues as the most likely cause.
* {{Expy}}: Vocally, Davy is one to [[TheBlackDahliaMurder Trevor Strnad]]. The two singers used sound almost identical for the most part, though Davy deepened his lows and mids and made his highs less of a shriek and more of a howl over the years.
* IAmTheBand: According to Nick, Jonny was this around the time of ''Doom'', having written the entire EP. He eventually made a point of not doing this after realizing that songwriting was not his forte and was better left to the instrumentalists; as of now, he apparently takes a very laissez-faire approach and lets them do their thing, opting to just work with what they've done and make his vocals fit with the music rather than the other way around.
* {{Irony}}: Cephalic Carnage apparently did not like Job for a Cowboy at all when they were a thing on Website/MySpace and apparently actually wrote a diss song about them. Guess whose bassist later wound up becoming a full-time member and pivotal part of Job for a Cowboy's revamped sound?
* LeadBassist: Nick is a Type A and C, as he's known for both his YouTube channel and work with Cephalic Carnage. He also became a Type D on ''Sun Eater'', as his basslines are a very, very major part of the album's sound.
* LoudnessWar: A big, big problem with all of their releases, which is par for the course as far as Andy Sneap and Jason Suecof are concerned.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: The protagonist of ''Sun Eater'' is either receiving visions of the planet's ruination from a clifftop seance that she's conducting or is just tripping balls on [[MushroomSamba psychedelics]] (most likely ayahuasca based on the visions that she's witnessing if you believe that it's the latter). "Worming Nightfall" is either where the seance takes a turn for the worst and leaves her trapped in a dream world or where the trip goes south and renders her unable to snap out of it. It's worded ambiguously enough that both explanations are totally plausible.
* MetalBandMascot: The unnamed minotaur-like figure on their album artwork.
* MetalScream: Jonny is known for his equally-distinctive phlegmy but clearly-enunciated Type 2 lows and howling, raptor-like Type 3 highs, which used to be much more shrill and screechy circa ''Doom''.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Solid 10 for their entire career, though the title track of ''Ruination'' dips into a 9. ''Sun Eater'' sticks to a soft 10 for the most part, with occasional dips into a hard 9.
* MotorMouth: Jonny Davy, and often.
* NewSoundAlbum: Every single one since ''Doom'':
** ''Genesis'' was where they abandoned deathcore and moved on to death metal.
** ''Ruination'' eschewed leads for a greatly increased emphasis on riffing; in addition to this, Jonny also began using a high-pitched screeching howl in addition to his mid-range growls.
** ''Gloom'' reintroduced leads and solos thanks to Tony, whose leadwork was far more complex and technical than Ravi's simpler, more melodic approach; as a whole, the album was far more technical than their previous material, which carried over to ''Demonocracy''.
** ''Sun Eater'' is their biggest change in sound since ''Genesis'', opting to eschew most of the heavier, blastier elements in favor of dark, moody progressive death with noticeable doom metal influences and an extremely heavy focus on bass. Aside from Jonny's vocals, they sound like a completely different band.
* NonIndicativeName: They are not a country band, as the name would suggest. In fact, they're probably the opposite.
* OncePerEpisode: Both of their full-lengths since Bobby Thompson left have had one guest songwriting contribution from him ("Tarnished Gluttony" and "The Celestial Antidote"). Nick indicated in an interview that this was going to remain a thing on future releases.
* ProgressiveMetal: ''Sun Eater''
* ProtestSong: More or less their only lyrical theme from ''Ruination'' onwards.
* PurpleProse: Davy's lyrics occasionally cross over into this, though he's cut down on it with ''Demonocracy''.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: Al Glassman used Job for a Cowboy's mid-'10s dormancy to bring back Goratory with the ''Rice on Suede'' lineup. They are still not an active touring act, however, as multiple members either cannot tour (mainly Zac due to a pretty major conviction on his record) or really don't want to tour.
* RevolvingDoorBand: They've had pretty frequent turnover to the point where only one founding member remains.
* SpecialGuest: Danny Walker was a session drummer for ''Sun Eater'', though he did apparently play a big role in the writing process.
** Additionally, Jason Suecof contributed leads to "Sun of Nihility", while [[Music/CannibalCorpse George Fisher]] contributed guest vocals to "The Synthetic Sea".
* TechnicalDeathMetal: Significant elements of this from ''Gloom'' onwards.