I like intricately-layered prog metal as much as the next Peart-worshipping rock and roll poindexter. I was a sadsack teenage outcast reading Vonnegut and Philip K Dick while getting lost in albums like 2112, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, and Helloween’s Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I and II.
But before I started spending time in concept records I found my way into rock and roll via Kiss, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Metallica. As well as punk bands like Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, Descendents, and Circle Jerks. I was still wide-eyed and pondering a world where maybe I could play in a band and have a girlfriend. Maybe be one of the cool kids that could work the whole room; nerds, jocks, Goths, D&D freaks, and of course musicians. I basically wanted to be Ferris Bueller.
It didn’t quite work out that way for me, but North Manchester’s Filth & Majesty sound like they found that balance. They play with the abandon of punk rock, while still sounding like they know what they’re doing with the instruments as if maybe they dug some early metal as well. Their latest album, Who Killed Friday Night, lays out 30 minutes of adrenaline-fueled rock and roll power. Jet fuel-powered rock and roll fit for a king, pauper, and everyone in-between.
These songs are in and out; no frills and no fat, just choice cuts of ear drum-shattering rock and roll. “Cigarettes and Kerosene” seems to sum up Filth & Majesty’s mission statement: don’t leave ’em standing upright. “This place smells like dirty clothes, and Burger King” is sung over a riff that is part Social Distortion and part Bad Religion. The dual guitar lead locks into some Thin Lizzy vibes as well. Pretty good vibes to hit, if you ask me. “Sleazebag Stomp” somehow brings together both early Kiss and Dischord Records vibes in a pretty great way.
“Downtown Terrorizer” is in and out in under two minutes. Punk rock kicking classic rock in the teeth and both buying each other beers at the bar afterwards. “25 Cigs” I could almost hear Angus Young rocking that riff, while album closer “Strohs Song” is an ode to a swamp water beer and letting that liquid sludge give you the courage to do something really stupid.
Filth & Majesty bring the goods on Who Killed Friday Night. Big riffs, big vocals, and pedal to the metal drums, these cats are the real thing. And if they ever do find who killed Friday night, I pity that fool.