Made In Poland
posted on 1/2012 By:
On August 2nd, 2011, Slough Feg shambled into Poland for the first time in their lengthy 20+ years of existence to play before an intimate (and apparently distinctly polite) crowd at the Progresja Club in Warsaw. The show was put together by a particularly rabid fan by the name of Jacek Lesniewski, who booked no opening act and asked that Slough Feg put on a two hour show that included (uh, what?) one intermission. The ensuing performance was flanked by an army of microphones and recorded for generations of bangers to come, as well as for those fans in the present who've perhaps never had the pleasure of experiencing these masters of melodicism in full strut.
The saddest part about this record -- and any live record, for that matter -- is the fact that it obviously doesn't capture the visual end of the bargain. Maybe that's not such a big deal if the band in question is Jack Johnson and the FuckI'mBoreds, but this particular troupe features a frontman / lead guitarist who enjoys climbing his surroundings nearly as much as he does scorching through leads, so it's something to keep in mind if you ever, you know, get the chance to skip over to Poland or Wangdiddly, Arkansas to see these cats live. And interestingly enough, one of the segments of the show that apparently fell to the cutting floor during the making of this album was a section where Mike Scalzi wandered too far into the crowd and found himself suddenly and explicably unplugged.
The good news, however, is that Made in Poland delivers the goods in terms of what it's like to hear this band on any given night: rowdy, raw and ripping -- just as nature intended them to be, with zero overdubs. And unlike many of the shows I've seen in recent years, you can tell the onlookers are there to actually appreciate the music, as there's no evidence of inane chatter of 'who-did-what-to-who' or imbeciles screaming for "Free Bird" ("Wolny Ptak! Wolny Ptaaaak!!!") to distract you from the tunes being handed over. And really, the overall sound quality of the disc from start to finish is top-notch, and the prodigious booklet packs an additional stack of high-quality photos (28 pages from cover-to-cover) that documents the show, the subsequent meet 'n' greet, and some candid action shots of the band mucking about the city.
And Gygax be praised, due to the sheer length of the set, a little something from each album ended up getting played during that ensorcelled night. Unfortunately, for reasons probably best left for a conversation with the band, the Atavism selections were chopped ("Hiberno-Latin Invasion" and "Eumaeus the Swineherd"). Still, it's 70-minutes of callow, crazed Slough Feg that stretches from utterly epic ("Ape Uprising" and "Warriors Dawn") to the insanely catchy ("Tiger! Tiger!") to the thoroughly shredding ("Shakedown at the Six" and "Traders and Gunboats"), so no fan should walk away unhappy.
Anyone who's witnessed the band at the top of their game in some cozy club would likely confirm that there's nothing quite like getting the full Feg assault on both ears and eyes, but Made in Poland stands as the next best thing until a proper DVD hits the market. And for those rightfully unwilling to shell out 45 Zoltys + shipping to score a copy from Megadisc HQ in Warsaw, the album is conveniently located at the band's official site for the paltry sum of 14 clams.
1. Highlander (5:03) [Twilight of the Idols]
2. The 95 Thesis (3:36) [The Animal Spirits]
3. High Passage / Low Passage (3:40) [Traveller]
4. Ape Uprising (12:21) [Ape Uprising!]
5. Lycanthropic Fantasies (4:29) [The Animal Spirits]
6. Tiger! Tiger! (4:30) [Hardworlder]
7. Shakedown at the Six (4:44) [Ape Uprising!]
8. Free Market Barbarian (2:29) [The Animal Spirits]
9. Warriors Dawn (12:31) [Down Among the Deadmen]
10. Traders and Gunboats (4:15) [Down Among the Deadmen]
11. Red Branch (2:33) [The Lord Weird Slough Feg]
12. Sky Chariots (5:18) [Down Among the Deadmen]
13. Sha La La (5:06) [Thin Lizzy cover]
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