Attack of the Mad Axeman
Scumdogs of the Forest
I spent the bulk of my teen years in Germany without ever picking up the language because pretty much every European on the planet has a better grasp of English than I do. So I don’t know what the German word for “sophomore slump” would be, but I imagine it’s one of those impressively polysyllabic compound monstrosities at which the Teutonic tongue excels. I bet Attack of the Mad Axeman don’t know it either because the cosplay crusaders took everything that made 2007’s Grind the Enimal awesome, and belying their animal rights motif, chained it in the back yard, tazed it into submission and subjected it to ruthless experiments involving forced injections of Kill the Client extract for second album Scumdogs of the Forest.
In case the subliminal messages in “Grind, Grind, Grind!” and “”I Like Bands” didn’t make it through, Attack of the Mad Axeman love to grind and grind like bastards they do. There’s a scything riff that mows through “16 Fauste Fur Ein Halleluja,” miraculously cleaving the concrete-density guitar and bass. And “Elefantophobia II” plays like an audio book on fast forward recounting of Hannibal’s pachyderm trek over the Alps. Axeman also seem intent on goring metal’s sacred cows, from the GWAR-spoofing album title through songs like “Morbider Angler,” which is actually about fishing, and “Squirrel vs. Glen Benton,” a subtle brew of blunt force brutality and Sciuridae dexterity that takes aim at the infamous squirrel shooting incident.
Everything about Scumdogs of the Forest from the perfectly balanced but still sandpapery production through the single minded performances and fat-free songwriting sees grind’s favorite furries elevating an already impressive game. This should be the album that takes the focus off the band’s goofy getups and gets it back on the music where it deservedly belongs.