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Thursday, April 30, 2009

CD Review: Slough Feg - Ape Uprising!

Slough Feg - Ape Uprising!
2009 Cruz Del Sur
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Either Slough Feg is going to be considered the next best thing to crawl out of the underground since The Sword or they're going to remain criminally the toast of music journalists and sludge-prog addicts alone.

Only Slough Feg can tease their listeners with a rowdy album cover straight out of the eighties punk and hardcore scene and deliver fuzz-crushed nirvana inside with occasional doom measures and bucketloads of delectable guitar solos, as if sweeping themselves to a mega-lit arena as the opening act for Thin Lizzy or UFO.

Now on their seventh go-round, Slough Feg's Ape Uprising! is both silly as hell with its campy simian death monger yarn as it is deadly serious from a musicianship standpoint.

Even better than their previous outing Hardworlder, which was already a tough act to follow, Ape Uprising! will have you busting a gut instantly with the opening song title "The Hunchback of Notre Doom," yet Slough Feg is spot-on with their homage to Pentgram and Black Sabbath there's hardly room for laughter.

If you're not sold by the sparkling solos from Angelo Tringali and Mike Scalzi on the have-a-nice-day rawk feel of "Overborne," you might as well skip--not mosh--over to Hot Topic and peruse their Generation Tech band samplers. Arrogant to say, sure, but Slough Feg is certainly not catering to the same demographic as those betrothed to My Chemical Romance. Not when you have the ten-minute epic "Ape Rising" complete with the seventies-kissed feel of Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy, Spock's Beard, Yes and Kiss in one progressive swoop.

Slough Feg relays perhaps the crunchiest example of articulation on the scene today. They virtually recreate a vintage tone homogenous to vinyl's original heyday within a digital realm which brightly accents the former and spitefully dispels with the latter. Then again, "Simian Manifesto" may sound like it deserves to be thought of as a lost seventies jam, yet its bursts of thrash amidst the hard-chugging pep and continuously changing grooves (not to mention some obscene guitar wails) makes it gloriously post-modern despite a relentless addiction for Carter-era rock.

Ape Uprising! is impressive at every turn, be it the bar brawl crush of "Shakedown at the Six," the larger-than-life NWOBHM finale to "Nasty Hero" or the tunefully raspy motorbreaths exhaled on "Ape Outro."

It's only the first third of the year and already plenty of hot contenders for year-end finalists have staked their claims. Consider Slough Feg one of those in contention. For their sheer bravado in turning a ridiculously smarmy tale out of Creepy comics into an ear candy rock spectacle, pencil Slough Feg enthusiastically upon the list.

Rating: ****1/2


fredcq said...

Easily my album of the year! I really think that they outdid themselves with this album. I consider them to be one of the most fun metal bands to listen to.

I wish that more people knew about this band. Their songs are awesomely catchy.

JP said...

I think this is the best guitar tone Slough Feg's got yet. I love the way they start with the doomiest song on this album and then keep getting heavier.

Anonymous said...

I was a bit hesitant when first playing this album, due to a slight let down from Hardworlder (which I still dig), but that hesitation was quickly put away: What a great album. Ape Uprising! has already found it's way into my brain. I find myself singing a tune and it takes a while to figure it out since I've only listened to it a few times so far (which should turn into a multitude).

But why the comparison to The Sword? As you said, this is Slough's seventh album. The Sword has two identical albums. I saw them together, Slough opening, and left three songs into Sword's set. And I consider myself a fan of The Sword, they just couldn't match the intensity or musicianship of the Feg. I couldn't end my night on a sour note.

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