Saturday, July 14, 2012

Music Review: Red Fang- Murder the Mountains

Murder the Mountains, an aptly named album title if there ever was one, because Red Fang has created an album here that will topple the mightiest of snowy peaked mountains.

I've dabbled in Red Fang's music before, mostly via Pandora, and have been craving one of their albums for a while now.  When I'm exploring a new band I usually like to start at the beginning, but I haven't been able to track down Red Fang's self-titled debut album here in Seattle.  So I did the next best thing; I bought their second album.  And boy, is it good.

Allow me to describe Red Fang's sound via analogy: If music was a drug and Queens of the Stoneage and Mastodon were two varieties of a powerful stimulant, and they got combined into one wonder-drug, then had the purity of said wonder-drug cut for street consumption, you'd get a wonderful, highly addictive thing called Red Fang.  These Red Fang fellahs take the rock n' roll catchy-ness of QOTSA the heavy metal progginess of Mastdon and meld it into one absolutely fantastic album that is not quite metal, but  far too prickly and heavy to be called rock.

This is an album that starts out strong with the opening track, Malverde and builds up momentum and brutal-ness as it progresses towards the mid-way point and my personal favorite song of the album, Throw Up, a song that works in some awesome changes that go in exactly all the right places.

This is a band that can write a catchy riff, lyrics you want to sing/snarl/mumble along with and instrumentals that are guaranteed to rock the socks off any listener.  Throw Up is a song that has all of the above in epic abundance. The second half of the album has more of a rock n' roll feel than the first half, and though it shows a different side of the band's sound, is equally strong and impressive.  

It has been a long time since I've explored a new band and have it be one that I take an instant liking to. I like their no-nonsense approach to making great music.  I like their straight forward songs that are tightly composed and incredibly catchy. And I like that they are a heavy band from the Pacific Northwest, a region once known for turning out great music that has sadly deteriorated into a breeding ground for shitty emo and indie-rock bands.  Thankfully, Red Fang is neither.  They're just a kick-ass hard-rock/metal band that is making great music.  

One thing is for sure, as I age, I haven't lost my taste for heavy music.  However, I have noticed that I have a great appreciation for other (less heavy) varieties of music these days, and Red Fang is the perfect band to bridge that gap.  

Make no mistake, Murder the Mountains is a great album, but the crazy thing is, It gets increasingly better the more I listen to it.  It started out very good, and is well on it's way to great.  This is easily one of the best albums I've bought in the past few years, and it keeps growing on me.

For those who aren't total metal heads, but like to head-bang on occasion, or enjoy hearing some great guitar this is a great place to explore.  For metal lovers like me, who have been looking for their next new favorite band, well, Red Fang is where it's at.  With only two albums under their belts, this is a band that appears to be on the track towards great things.  I can't wait until their next album.  Until then, you'll find me listening to and loving Murder the Mountains.

Grade: A

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