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Red Fang: Only Ghosts

I first saw Red Fang several years ago when they opened for Mastodon just after The Hunter appeared. I've tried to catch the band on every Salt Lake City stop since then. The band is excellent in concert; Red Fang is one of those bands that sound better live than they do in recordings. They also play with such energy and such passion that it's hard not to get caught up in the power of the music. I can still recall how great classic songs like "Malverde" or "Prehistoric Dog" sound in a small venue.

My favorite thing about Red Fang, besides the concerts, is their songwriting. The band has an eclectic style that some people compare to Queens of the Stone Age. I understand that the comparison to Queens of the Stone Age makes sense but it drives me crazy because I don't think Red Fang needs a "listen if you like" explanation. Red Fang sounds like Red Fang and every new release shows off the band's extraordinary capacity to develop rock solid new music that fires on all cylinders.

I doubt there's any one way to capture the band's style but it's safe to say that it blends great hooks with some big and beefy heavy metal swagger. There are moments that stray from the pattern but usually the results are worth the extra attention. I also really like the band's drawing on the vocal abilities of Aaron Beam (also bass), David Sullivan (also guitar), and Bryan Giles (also guitar). I'm tired of the artificial alternating vocal style other bands use when they want to be pretty and rough at the same time. Red Fang turns to the vocals that suit just how dirty they want things to be and the results are always worth it. As I write this, I'm thinking specifically of the emotionally distraught focals on "I Am a Ghost," but my point applies to other songs just as well.

I've always been impressed with John Sherman's drumming, but on this album he really shows off how good he is. His style is always hard-driving and powerful but on this one he takes it further, adding even more fills.

I admit that the best album for me will probably always be Murder the Mountains. That was the one that turned me on to the band. I've also heard most of the tracks on that album performed live more than once. I have great memories listening to Murder the Mountains. This new album may stand up to that one in terms of performance and quality. Some of the best tracks ("Flies" is one of them, so is "Shadows") just soar with energy and power. I especially loved the cry of "the house is burning" from "Flies." It kicks things off beautifully. I also really enjoyed "I Am a Ghost," a song that packs gut-wrenching punch. Other highlights include "No Air" and "The Deep." This is good stuff!

This is an awesome new release by a band that is so good that I usually call them The Mighty Red Fang because that's what they are.

Track Listing:
1. Flies
2. Cut it Short
3. Flames
4. No Air
5. Shadows
6. Not for You
7. The Smell of the Sound
8. The Deep
9. I Am a Ghost
10. Living in Lye

Added: October 14th 2016
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 902
Language: english

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