Get four rockers with a strong pedigree, push them together to make some dirty, scuzzy guitar fuelled rock and you get Red Fang, a band dealing in full on rock ‘n’ roll. ‘Murder The Mountains’ is their new album packed full with 10 riff laden and guitar sodden songs, and let me tell you it sounds pretty damn good.
First track ‘Malverde’ starts off the album with the trait that makes Red Fang stand out and fills the whole of this release, the ability to make music that though not the heaviest you will ever hear has an unrelenting power and intensity that leaves the listener breathless by the end. The opener has a slight Rob Zombie dirty feel to it especially on the vocals and is a great start and teaser of what is to come. The first thing that stands out is the great and effective dual vocals of guitarist Bryan Giles and bassist Aaron Beam, complimenting each other and the music neatly. Next up is a track proving to be a favourite ‘Wires’, an elaborate track with an epic feel from its changes in pace and melodic intricacies. As with the track ‘Number Thirteen’ it has a kind of distorted early Queen of The Stone Age/Kyuss feel to it, something that actually comes through a few times throughout the album.
Stand out tracks for me are the rampaging ‘Throw Up’ with its chugging guitars and dirty aggressive bass prods alongside the drums of John Sherman, and ‘Dirt Wizard’ a true rock tune graced with great Lemmy like vocals over wonderful guitar melodies and attack from Giles and David Sullivan. Though I pointed those two tracks out the standard of the other songs are just as high. On first hearing of the album the track ‘The Undertow’ with its slow pace and more involved musical variation, though not as much as in ‘Wires’, seems to break the flow of ‘Murder the Mountains’ but though it still feels like there is a bigger track dormant within repeat listens reveals its quality and the skill in its creation. A grower it maybe for me but also a smart piece of song writing and more than deserves its place amongst the harder and more rampant tracks.
Red Fang have come up with one of the strongest releases you are likely to hear this year but I think there is still a bigger and better album within them. For all the great music and ideas on ‘Murder The Mountains’ there are at times where the tracks seem very similar to each other and if not paying attention one easily could be listening to one track thinking it is still the previous song. Though not as big a problem as it could be with other artists due to the quality and strength of the songs here it does show for me that they are not quite at their peak, close but not quite.
‘Murder The Mountains’ is a great, fun, and vibrant release with a wonderful vein of humour in their lyrics and approach running through it. Flowing with an onslaught of power, thrusting rhythm, and crazed controlled sounds this is one album you should check out. If you like the idea of Kyuss canoodling with Mastodon and being probed with a touch of Motorhead, then these could be your next favourite band.