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SLOUGH FEG
Slough Feg (or The Lord Weird Slough Feg as they used to be known) is a name you don't forget in a hurry and one which makes me reminisce of 'Ethel The Frog' and 'Toad The Wet Sprocket'. They have been on my peripheral radar for quite a few years now. I've listened to the odd song here and there but latest album 'Digital Resistance' is the first one I've sat down and listened to properly and, honestly, this lot are brilliant but completely bonkers! Imagine an epic punch up between Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, early Black Sabbath & Queen, Demon, Nightwing, Jethro Tull, Genesis, any number of obscure NWOBHM bands from the early 1980soh, and some Celtic folk and you still wouldn't get close to imagining what Slough Feg sound like unless you are already familiar with them. This combination really shouldn't work, but it does and extremely well too.

'Digital Resistance' is San Francisco based Slough Feg's ninth album and is a semi-concept affair dealing with modern technology and how it has, rather than educating us, achieved the complete opposite and 'dumbed us down'. A very interesting idea, and one I've become totally familiar with, especially since I started using social media. Slough Feg don't quite sound like anyone else although they very definitely have the quirkiness of Primus, Diablo Swing Orchestra and BigElf. Lyrically, this is superb with Michael Scalzi (vocals, guitar) coming up with some great lines. He has quite a distinct melodic delivery, although his voice does remind me of someone else in places but, annoyingly, I'll be damned if I can remember who it is! Second guitarist Angelo Tringali works very well with Scalzi and their dual guitar work is excellent. Adrian Maestas (bass) and Harry Cantwell (drums) are the perfect rhythm section, filling the songs with some great playing, but never making them feel overcrowded.

Not only is opening track 'Analogue Avengers/Bertrand Russell's Sex Den' a clear statement of intent as to how the album is going to pan out musically, it's also on the short list of one for song title of the year. The title track names Voivod's compelling masterpiece 'Killing Technology' and 'Habeas Corpsus' immediately had me imagining the aftermath of a gunfight in a Sergio Leone Western as Clint Eastwood rides off into the distance, presumably dragging a selection of mobile phones and tablets behind him! However, before you all think I've lost the plot completely , the NWOBHM influences shine through on these songs and, in places, this is actually a pretty heavy album. 'Ghastly Appendage', 'The Price Is Nice', 'Laser Enforcer' and Warrior's Dusk' are just some more awesome songs. Everything has been recorded on analogue, and has a beautifully traditional feel to go along with the story. I do wonder, though, if it was tongue in cheek to send out the review copies digitally or if it was ironically a necessity! Either way, 'Digital Resistance' is a great album by a band who I really should have taken more notice of in the past. I now have to find space in the S section on my CD shelves for their other eight albums!
LABEL:
FORMAT:
Metal Blade
Album
DIGITAL RESISTANCE
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Review by Rick Tilley
RUNNING TIME:
39:27
RELEASE DATE:
18th Feb 2014
TRACK LISTING
1) Analogue Avengers/Bertrand Russell's Sex Den
2) Digital Resistance
3) Habeas Corpsus
4) Magic Hooligan
5) Ghastly Appendage
6) Laser Enforcer
7) The Price is Nice
8) Curriculum Vitae
9) The Luddite
10) Warriors Dusk
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
USA
"...brilliant but completely bonkers!"
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www.sloughfeg.com