Despite the name of their group, Cowboys From Hell has nothing to do with country music or even satirizing it. They are actually an inventive fusion trio that is heavily influenced by rock while utilizing jazz improvisation.
Cowboys From Hell consists of Christoph Irniger on tenor and bass clarinet, bassist Marco Blochlinger and drummer Chrigel Bosshard, but do not expect the trio to sound like a Sonny Rollins pianoless group. Both Blochlinger and Irniger utilize keyboards extensively, coming up with an endless number of distorted sounds and tones while swinging funkily in their own way.
The group has cited Frank Zappa, Screaming Headless Torsos, Rage Against The Machine and Pantera as a few of their influences. While Irniger’s background is in jazz (he studied at one point with Dave Liebman), Blochlinger has mostly played rock and funk while Bosshard has played rock in Los Angeles.
Of the ten songs on Big Fish, Irniger wrote six, Bosshard contributed two, one is a group improve and “Walk” is by Pantera. Such song titles as “Horror Show,” “Hymn For The Traitor,” “Mary Jane” and “WWW” could make one think that the music is taken from a soundtrack but each piece stands on its own, ranging from rhythmic vamps to fiery explorations.
Big Fish shows that there is still life to be found in fusion.