While Red Fang’s fourth album immediately stands out as their first full-length since 2016’s Only Ghosts, it seems to hearken back to the Sludgy aspects of their earliest ventures. Tracks like ‘Unreal Estate’ and the title track reflect strong Melvins circa (A) Senile Animal vibes with their trudging riff patterns and eccentrically howled vocal lines. ‘Fonzi Scheme’ and ‘Days Collide’ elaborate further the former putting in a particularly potent stomp and the latter benefitting the most from the disorienting atmosphere.
Rock ‘n roll is definitely alive inside of The Troubadour and the energy is definitely at a high as the crowd eagerly awaits the return of Oregon rockers Red Fang. The packed crowd is ready for a high energy show and they definitely got that.
Opening with ‘Malverde’ (off their last record Murder the Mountains), Red Fang set the pace with their riff driven rock n roll sound and rarely allowing the tempo to relax along the way. The riffs come a flowing throughout each song, while their punk esque demeanor to their sound adds a different flavor that makes them desirable and somewhat dangerous sounding.
Guitarist Bryan Giles and bassist Aaron Beam traded lead vocal duties throughout their set, each giving a different feel to each tune while the crowd screamed along to each song. Much of their set list consisted of songs from Murder The Mountains while including songs from their newest album Whales and Leeches. Songs like ‘Crows in Swine’ and ‘1516’ hit the crowd hard, but they still managed to absorb the blow without any setbacks. They took in each song as if they were regulars in their set for years.
Their other guitarist, David Sullivan, quietly worked in his guitar magic, occasionally adding his tasteful riffage, while drummer John Sherman bashed away in stride. They also brought out guest keyboardist Roger Manning for a one time appearance on ‘Blood Like Cream’. The latter part of their set list ended with three songs from their self titled release. ‘Sharks and ‘Prehistoric Dog’, and the surprise encore tune ‘Good To Die’ left the crowd with a lot more rock than they originally bargained for.
Red Fang definitely lives up to their hype alongside the current wave of dirty riff-driven rock bands such as Baroness, Torche, Mastodon, and Clutch, while carrying the flag with pride. Oregon should be proud and music fan should take notice if you haven’t already.