Red Fang - Red Fang
Record Label: Sargent House
Release Date: March 10, 2009
The latest grunge-revival act grounded solidly enough in their sound to make a noticeable run for stardom is Portland, OR's charismatic Red Fang. While the band claims a hometown synonymous with the most popular indie innovators of the age, Red Fang certainly doesn't play no hipster jive. Instead, they take pride in a set flooded with enough rock'n'roll to get Dimebag headbanging in his grave, and this self-titled LP proves it with fervor.
"Time to kiss your ass goodbye!" moans the vocals on "Prehistoric Dog," and the album is off on a barbaric sprint to the finish line that is the berserk of "Witness." Listeners will have to sport some jock muscles to resist the urge to dance, head-bob or whatever it is grungies do the music carries. Madcap solos and Neanderthal-istic vibes set the album up as irresitible fun and "the best" re-hearken to neo-grunge in years.
Lyrically the album is scattershot of lines to acheive inebriation to. "Prehistoric Dog" chronicles "Dogs that howl from outer space / Come to Earth to lay to waste / With fang and claw to shred your face / They will erase the human race." "Night Destroyer" sounds like it's growling about the ability to "destroy your name;" no one can be remotely sure without a guiding booklet, but who really cares? The slightly muddled vocal production just adds to the savage drop-it-all-and-rock-ism of the album, and if you want to interpret the lyrics to be about destroying names, so be it. Just don't shy from chipping in to the call-and-response-esque character of the song.
"Bird On Fire" is a likely contender for the album's centerpiece besides the single-ready "Prehistoric Dog." The track might as well be an instrumental, since the lyrics are nearly unintelligible, but what an instrumental it is. A groovy motif kicks off the track and continues ambushing listeners amidst insane tempo changes and food fight-starting solos.
There's probably little Red Fang can claim in terms of pure originality, but nobody is worrying about the precocious merits of inventing a new sound or "mixing it up" when an incredible album comes their way demanding their attention in the same manner this band's self-titled album does. It leaves me, at the very least, wanting more material like no other grunge album I've ever heard. Due to Red Fang, Red Fang really has nowhere to climb but up, because there's hardly any room to fall. Look for this band someday in metal heaven, riffing beautifully next to the likes of Black Sabbath and The Melvins.
Recommended If You LikeClutch, Torche, Black Sabbath, The Melvins