Friday, September 25, 2009

Slough Feg - Ape Uprising!

Slough Feg
Ape Uprising!
Cruz Del Sur

One of the two main things I’ve always admired about Mike Scalzi and his band Slough Feg is that they’re not afraid to get goofy. Ape Uprising!, the San Fran band’s seventh album, is a concept record that chronicles the day our simian cousins got tired of being humanity’s bitch and, well, rose up. It’s fight or flight/Our strife continues on/You found the might in your opposing thumbs, proclaim the antagonists in the title track. Between lines like that, song titles like Nasty Hero and The Hunchback of Notre Doom and the cartoonish artwork, methinks Scalzi is having his bit of fun with the concept of heavy metal epics. No matter. Because the other thing I’ve long dug about Scalzi is his mastery of the melodic metal anthem, and that mastery is in full flight here. Simian Manifesto, Nasty Hero and Shakedown at the Six are catchy, finely crafted and powerful, and Scalzi’s still got the greatest voice in trad metal these days. The band’s long-held Celtic influences have been pretty much excised by this point, which is a shame, but that’s a minor quibble for an album that proudly and loudly stakes claim to the metal throne for all man- and apekind.

- Michael Toland

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