Words El Jefe.
Red Fang. I hadn’t heard of them, but caught most of their set on a couple of years back when they shared a bill with Kyuss Lives and Orange Goblin. Pretty rockin’ I thought. Raunchy, distorted, abrasive. Loud and nasty. My kinda filth, and an excellent warm-up for both OG and Kyuss too.
Ten or eleven years into their existence, this Portland quartet are not taking the foot off the pedal and coasting. The new LP, Only Ghosts is a down and dirty mud-ride plum fulla mangled guitars, drums having the shit beaten outta them and stomach pump bass riffs. The road rash vocals are handled by guitarist Bryan Giles, while bassist Aaron Beam keeps things on the straight and narrow. Combined, they add an excellent depth to the whole shitstorm of sonic dementia.
‘Flies’ and ‘Cut it Short’ are both thumpers, hard and straight for the throat. ‘Flames’ is just a brief dissonant interlude, maybe to coerce the unsuspecting listener into the mood for some “snuggling”. No idea (thank fuck) just what Red Fang would consider to be “snuggling” though….
That filthy bass buzztone kicks off ‘No Air’, big riffs chugging away and the lurching, sideways feel changes keep you on ya toes with this one. The guitars seem to get away from them at this point, the angular riffage and screaming, fuck you style solos will rip you a new arsehole as quick as you can blink on tunes like ‘Shadows’. Awesome shit!
Playing off the clean and dirty vocals, ‘Not For You’ has some great hooks, which are then torn away by the dirt in Bryan’s pipes.
‘Living In Lye’ is tense and edgy, and wraps up this record nicely.
The drums and bass will bulldoze you outta existence on the hot little beast called Only Ghosts. The ripping guitars and slightly left of centre songs while rocking out pretty hard also make for some excellent listening. Originality like this is hard to come by, so love ‘em while you can.