Review Summary: Simple pleasures here, but exciting in their simplicity.
Everything about Slough Feg can be summarized, amongst many other adjectives, in one word: “strange”, and boy are they ever. From the ridiculous combination of mythology and Celtic folk-metal-rock-power-metal-whatever
to the absolutely cheesy and over-the-top attitude oozing out of their many songs. To say they are bad, however, is a far stretch – while they do not do anything particularly innovative or new, by God you will have a fun time listening to Slough Feg, and Digital Resistance
is no different.
From the opening riffs in Analogue Avengers / Bertrand Russel’s Sex Den
, it’s apparent that very little in Slough Feg’s formula has been altered – a hard rockin’ ditty that sort of makes you want to dance and headbang at the same time with jaunty lyrics that essentially make no damn sense but who cares. This is their forte and X-factor – to weave together awesome tunes with almost no effort required. Songs such as the Maiden-esque title track, uptempo “Magic Hooligan” and “The Price Is Nice” support the album’s bid for catchiness, complete with galloping riffs, a rousing atmosphere, solid drumwork (kudos to Harry Cantwell) and rough lyrics, courtesy of Scalzi, who does a fairly good job here – though he rarely takes it up an octave and keeps his vocal range within its limits, he still sounds damn good here and actually sounds far more controlled and less wild than the band’s previous outputs.
For better or worse, a lot of the album is like that – controlled and noticeably less exuberant, though as the album progresses into the middle and end parts, it becomes largely hit-or-miss. “Habeas Corpsus” is the kind of experimental track that Slough Feg needs and does a damn good job with, employing subtle and well-placed acoustic guitars and much more thoughtful if melodramatic lyrics – it easily outshines the rest of the tracks on the album. However, “Cirriculum Vitae” tries to use the same idea but largely fails due to being a pretentious, fairly unnecessary instrumental. And sometimes the 70’s feel gets a bit overbearing – this is particularly prominent on the repetitive “Laser Enforcer”.
Though its flaws are predictable, they also do not strip away what makes Digital Resistance so good – it is a bombastic, fast-paced, and is different enough from Slough Feg’s usual outputs to bring something kind of new to the table while still sticking to what made them great in the first place. After about four years of releasing nothing, Digital Resistance is yet another great and consistent release. Simple pleasures here, but they are awesome in their simplicity.