Protest the Hero
Scurrilous


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
March 14th, 2011 | 1572 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Truth be told, it's getting a bit ridiculous how they're able to consistently be this damn good.

Protest the Hero have always seemed like one of those bands that take themselves completely seriously yet at the same time take nothing seriously at all. Don't follow? Well, take an album like Kezia, the band's 2005 debut. Everything from the heavy political slant, the skill of the musicianship (to which they admit they wrote songs that were more complex and complicated than their abilities at the time, forcing them to practice relentlessly just to play the god damn thing), to the album's philosophical backdrop show a level of depth and planning that clashes against the image of drunken goofballs that, through over a half dozen music videos and countless interviews, they, and their livers, have worked hard to build and maintain. Protest the Hero's newest album Scurrilous, whose name is taken from the title of the painting that adorns the cover, continues in some extent with this dichotomy, but instead of looking at it as a matter of work versus life, it now envelops the make up of the album itself.

Musically, Scurrilous picks up right where Fortress left off, even including a return of those cheesy synthesizers in “Tapestry” and “Sex Tapes”. It is an overtly technical affair, ramping up the shred to some rather mind bending levels (I'm pretty sure that in the book of sheet music for Scurrilous, there are full sections where it switches from standard notation to calculus), but this time around everything is a lot less jarring when compared to their past work, with the transitions between the light speed arpeggio runs, tight modern metal riffing, and mathy stop start sections seamlessly binding it all together. It's rather impressive considering just how many shifts and change ups there are in each song.

Vocalist Rody Walker's contributions to Scurrilous, on the other hand, completely embody the flippant nature of the band shown in their videos. While all the lyrics on past albums were penned by bassist Arif Mirabdolbaghi, this time around they are mostly Rody's brain child, giving him the chance to not only take things in a new, more sarcastic, direction for the band, but also to explore his own sense of melody. For Scurrilous he has discarded his oft used scream in favor of his semi-operatic falsetto, a choice that may irk those that loved the vocal spazz outs like those found on “Bloodmeat”, but in using clean vocals it helps add to the cohesive feel of the album. Lyrically, there's nothing about jailed women or pagan worship here, instead it's a glimpse into the world through Rody's eyes. Think of it like the film Being John Malkovich but instead of being in the head of a mid level Hollywood actor, you're in the head of a quick witted, cynical, and sarcastic mid-20 something.

All in all, Scurrilous succeeds at all levels. It takes the tediousness out of technicality, and injects more hooks than a tackle box into the Protest the Hero formula. Truth be told, it's getting a bit ridiculous how they're able to consistently be this damn good.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
whywontyoudie
March 14th 2011


3063 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review adam. i still need to listen to this. seems like the hype is murdering the ratings for this.

DoubtGin
March 14th 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

3.5 for me right now.. I love how they abandoned the harsh vocals, but this still feels a bit worse than their previous albums

Yazz_Flute
March 14th 2011


18820 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Review ended too abruptly for me.

Love this album.

Digging: Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel

bloc
March 14th 2011


34951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My thread feed will forever be haunted once I press "submit"

Oh well, album rules so hard.

Defeater
March 14th 2011


5782 Comments


This is a 3.5.

Not to be a shithead, but I was hoping Munro would do a review for this.

Thompsonhunt
March 14th 2011


279 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lyrics were so shitty on this album. Good instrumentation, but came off as more of a joke than previous albums.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 14th 2011


10615 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

You're right about what I think about this review, redsky.

But seriously, well written review, I just don't agree with any of it : )

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2011


7376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I still need to hear this.

Good review.

Phideaux
March 14th 2011


1655 Comments


I liked Fortress a lot. I'll definitely check this out. I like their singer, I think he adds just the right level of ridiculousness to their sound.

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

Motiv3
March 14th 2011


8939 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I can't get into this album at all, there is just nothing memorable for me. And i like fortress and love Kezia.

Det_Nosnip
March 14th 2011


374 Comments


Singer is great in some parts and terrible in others. Music's entertaining...a little indulgent, but that's not necessarily bad.

ZilbelPing
March 14th 2011


6162 Comments


Unlike most people on Sputnik, I have yet to check this out. I'm actually waiting for the release date to go buy it. I hope the wait was worth it.

Acanthus
March 14th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

There is a certain fun factor here, but I still prefer their previous work to this.

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts

AshleyRiot
March 14th 2011


32 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Well written review. Couldn't disagree with it more, but its well written nonetheless.

psykonaut
March 14th 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeeee

Hep Kat
March 14th 2011


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

im surprised this isnt tyler's


but yeah gonna go take 15 minutes to look for the pos button i know isn't there

whywontyoudie
March 14th 2011


3063 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

det has a massive avatar

TheArkitecht
March 14th 2011


1673 Comments


Album is ridiculous, I miss the silly screams and growls though.

Metamorphosis
March 14th 2011


420 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This did not captivate me as much as their previous albums have. However, it is an extremely fun listen.

Tyrael
March 14th 2011


20930 Comments


This was surprisingly good actually.



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