"Digital Resistance"

By Lord Randall

See, now here’s the thing about my relationship with (The Lord Weird) SLOUGH FEG. It’s unfuckwithable. It began back with the star-shattering, drink-fuelled Traveller opus, and has thus far culminated in two world-changing events.
Event, the first: While working for the printed – and still much-missed – Metal Maniacs, I was drafted to cover the Alehorn Of Power II fest in Chicago. First experience with SLOUGH FEG live, and damn near throwing out my back bro-ing down with Greg Spalding during Scalzi & Co.’s ‘Eumaeus The Swineherd’.Event, part deux: Same evening, witnessing our very own Dr. Mality in what could only be called rare form,(oh, if you only knew!--Doc) so much so that, years later, when the opportunity to scribe for this erudite outlet presented itself, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.Thus, you all have SLOUGH FEG to blame/thank for my presence here.

Times pass, seasons change, blahdy, blahdy, blah, and now we have before us "Digital Resistance", the California quartet’s first platter for Metal Blade. Let any worries about the “name” label changing the band one iota be left hanging like piss-stained sheets in the wind, for it didn’t happen. For the past few albums, SLOUGH FEG has been on a rant against the technocracy of modern society, clubbing away at this brave new world with branches and boulder-heavy riffwork. Not much has changed on that front, ‘Analogue Avengers/Bertrand Russell’s Sex Dream’ diving into the fray, followed by the call to arms of "Digital Resistance". ‘Magic Hooligan’ could work as an allusion to Scalzi’s career thus far, chunky rhythms bolstering the climax of the lyric “So it seems I’m just a casualty of shattered dreams but I’m grinning”, and letting any naysayers know that just because a man is down doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out. The wordplay is classic SLOUGH FEG in ‘The Price Is Nice’ – believe it or not not a tribute to Bob Barker, but the music does have the sense of “Well, I wrote these pithy lyrics in about 10 minutes, better write the music just as fast”. Still and all, as a toss-off, it’s better than what most bands spend their entire careers trying to achieve. Ending with intentionally ham-fisted ‘The Luddite’ and resignation of ‘Warrior’s Dusk’, SLOUGH FEG has delivered another album of quality hard rock in a year thus far sadly lacking.

I’d like to see them (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) branch out a bit further on the next release, maybe a couple longer songs, some sort of shift in dynamics, but unless Scalzi hands us a turd and has the gall to call it gold, I’ll be on board then as I am now.