Release Date: Mar 22, 2011
Record label: Vagrant
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Post-Hardcore, Heavy Metal, Punk Metal
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.
Canadian progressive/post-hardcore/punk/thrash metal outfit Protest the Hero's third studio album ditched the keyboards and strings that peppered 2008’s critically acclaimed Fortress. Stripped down, punishing, and more aloof than the two previous albums, the lack of any unifying theme makes Scurrilous a less inclusive outing, though the quintet’s penchant for crafting impossibly precise breakdowns, staccato leads, and unpredictable melodies is far from diminished. This shift from fantasy to the personal feels right for a band whose members are hitting their mid-twenties, and vocalist/lyricist Rody Walker, freed from any kind of conceptual framework, offers up some gems here, touching on everything from cancer (“Tandem”) and mental illness (“Tongue Splitter”) to cigarette addiction (“Hair-Trigger”) and life on the road (“Moonlight”), but it’s Scurrilous' divisive closing track that feels the most evolved.