Now I am not the biggest metal fan by any means, but there is some shit I really dig. My problem is not with the abrasive nature, the speed, or the volume though, my problem is when bands use those 3 things to hide the fact that they’re crappy musicians writing crappy songs. Not even ironically crappy songs you know? Just complete 12 year-old basement fat-kid shit. The best heavy-metals should utilize the intense nature of the genre to craft intelligent songs that manipulate pop and melody in functions other genres can not. I know there’s a lot of arguments about the distinction between metal, and heavy metal, and all that, but there seems to be a consensus on Black Sabbath kinda getting shit going. And at the time it was released, Sabbath may have seem loud, and dark, and evil, but it doesn’t sound bad by any means. So just because you’re singing about dark shit, and playing loud and heavy, doesn’t mean that you don’t need to learn how to play the friggin’ guitar.
Annnnnyway, my point is that Red Fang fucking rules. They are the living embodiment of the non-hipster Portland, Oregon scene – a world where the true emotions of punk and metal find a home to exist and thrive. They definitely fall partially into the sub-genre some call “stoner-rock”. Which essentially is just a newer term to distinguish modern heavy rock from speed metal. I think somebody came up with it when they needed a way to label Queens of the Stone Age. So think that kind of steadier bass-heavy groove, and then Red Fang turns it up another several notches in speed, intensity, pocket-lock, and self-satisfaction. To put it as generally as possible, mash QOTSA with the intense melodic attack of Mastodon and you’ll find Red Fang. Ehhh, but don’t think they do the speed arpeggio shit – it’s really just more hard rock. And they’re better than both those bands anyway if you ask me. Which you do, because you’re reading this post.
They signed recently with the metal label: Relapse Records, and they’re currently at the beginning of a 5 month Europe tour. In other words, they’re crushing it. And oh yeah, here’s the best part – they’re videos are friggin’ hilarious. I believe they’re all directed by this fella Whitey McConnaughy, and he knows how to totally embody what this music, this scene, this band, and this town is all about. These videos are what Portlandia could be if it edged it up a little bit. I recommend watching all 3. Right now.
“Wires” – This video’s epic. From last year’s Murder the Mountains and showing the best way ever to blow a $5,000 dollar video budget. If you’re like me, you’ll fall for this band even before the song starts. The tune itself is great though, it’s incredibly simple, (2 chords more or less) yet somehow sounds new and refreshing. When the spaced-out breakdown came, I was fully on board with this band. And then the milk exploded… Featuring a Brian Posehn cameo for extra-special seal-of-approval.
“Prehistoric Dog” - The first in this trilogy videos. Killer friggin’ hook, lyrics about vengeful space-wolfs, and the band’s take on the LARPing sensation. I love this tune.
“Hank is Dead” - The latest video from just a couple months ago. Featuring the band playing live from their station wagon while cruising the PDX streets, and leading up to an actual Red Fang air-guitar competition. Witness the love.