Friday, April 1, 2011

Protest the Hero--Scurrilous

I've never made to give you the impression that I was super tr00.  I never acted like I was the kvltest and br00talest d00d there ever was, right?  I am pretty cool, and my hair is generally perfect and thick, and I never get bug bites, but I'm not perfect.  Doing this review is going to clue you fine people in to something for which I feel deep and unwavering ambivalence (a paradox!).  I am no stranger to feeling shame, though I have developed a pretty sweet social mechanism for pretending that humiliations mean nothing to me (it helps my many, many humiliations go away more quickly and with less fanfare).  In fact, I feel shame every day, when I look in the mirror and see what my body turned into because of how I treated it like a booze sponge for so long and when I gaze at my CD collection (having one is shameful in and of itself anymore) and see all the prog that I have laying around.  And you've probably not felt shame like the first time you utter the words "I started a music blog."  Try it out, and look at peoples' faces when you say it; then you'll know the feeling of accidentally having your dick hanging out at a company picnic or something.

Spoiler alert:  I'm a massive prog nerd.  I love Dream Theater and Symphony X and well-executed clean singing (which, for all intents and purposes, doesn't exist anymore), and I love wanky guitars.  Prog lyfe, bitches!  (Puts on finest puffy shirt and leather pants).

Well, needless to say that prog nerds like me got their pocket protectors in a great big bunch when the new Protest the Hero album dropped.  We rejoiced!  More powerfully wanky guitars!  More prog punk odysseys in one of the most unique musical styles in the 21st century!  And GOOD CLEAN SINGING?  Holy shit, my retainer just fell in the toilet.  My mom's going to kill me!

Unless you've somehow been living in a cave with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears, or you've had "good" taste in music for the last 7 years or so, you've probably had to tangle with PTH's noodly prog attack.  In the standard style of prog, PTH's albums started off amazing with Kezia and has only improved, which defies the metal standard, where the mantra is a broken record "I liked their old stuff."  If you only like PTH's old stuff, you are wrong.  You like some good stuff, I'll give you that, but their new stuff is better, and if you want to argue about it, we can take this to the D&D board, where my level 30 Mage does the fucking talking.  That's what I thought, punk.  (Pushing glasses up the bridge of my nose)

The songwriting on this new album is no less labyrinthine than before, but the guitars have become slightly more tasteful in their incessant cascade of notes.  I like all the riffs from before just fine, but for those of you who are inexplicably "anti-wank," Scurrilous might prompt you to say "[short pause]...this band sucks.  Do you have the new Wormrot album?"  For one thing, I heard that pause, sir, and that is one short pause more than you would have put up with my prog fanciness in the past!  And yes, I do have the new Wormrot, but we're listening to this, so don't be a butthole.

The entire album is an incredible and mind-melting current of note-diarrhea, and I love it.  It's the best kind of diarrhea, after all!

Probably PTH's greatest achievement during the course of this album, however, is the singing.  I'll be the first person to tell you, and everybody that will listen, that clean singing is a dead scene and that auto tune has killed the music industry just as terribly as downloading and the reality-television-based sense of taste for the American ultra-consumer.  This has made for some very awkward Thanksgiving dinner, of course, but that my family doesn't care about my oddball crusade against Lady Gaga and Indie Rock doesn't change the fact that I'm correct and that my hair is perfect and thick and smells good.  However, PTH are the exception that proves the rule (which is a turn of phrase that I never understood, but I still imagine it's true in this case).  Rody Walker has some fucking pipes on him, and I've seen them live, too.  I can tell you that he can sing this shit perfectly on stage, even when it looks like he's about to die of the flu in front of a thousand people, which was the case in San Antonio at the White Rabbit when I watched them.  Guitars squalling and executing perfect snaking melodies, drums crashing, bass doing something, above all was Rody Walker's pitch-perfect vocal attack, which only wavered when he had to stagger off to the side of the stage to vomit.  What a warrior!  We watched the taxi take him to the hospital after the show, idly conversing with Moe and Luke in the stilted style of a dude who is struggling to find something interesting to say to a band that he thoroughly admires.

What a night!

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that I love Protest the Hero, and I could apologize for it, but I won't because they rule.  If you disagree, you are wrong and probably have a beard and a tattered Eyehategod shirt that you wear everyday.  I would love to be your friend anyway, because you sound like my kind of dude and I'll bet you've got a ton of manliness that I can imitate.  But I will not renounce Protest the Hero!  Give me prog or give me...well, just make fun of me for thinking that John Petrucci can fly and isn't creeped out by how often I send him bouquets of dead flowers.  It's how I express the fact that I want to eat his skin, alright?  Don't judge me!  And Protest the Hero should be expecting some dead daisies pretty soon, because they've written what will absolutely be one of my favorite albums of this year.  Kudos, fellows, and I'll see you on April 18th when you play Austin.  (Stares really blankly, dead eyes penetrating your souls)

Great job.

If you want to experience the fun that PTH have to offer and take a brief glimpse into my horrible, nerdy world, you should perhaps to buy the album, you jamoke.  That's right, I just called you a jamoke!  This is the Interbung; I can say whatever I think is fun because if we ever meet in real life I'll cry and use my ink defense to escape.  And I can run surprisingly fast for a man my size.

No comments:

Post a Comment