Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Red Fang : "Only Ghosts"

This is my first time really given these guys a shot . In the past when I heard them I thought they were a little derivative of Kyuss. While they are not re-inventing the wheel here, and are arguably taking more inspiration from the more hooky direction Torche went in back in 2008 on "Meanderthal", the songs are well written and by the time the vocals switch over into the hook, I am enjoying myself.  The riff to "Cut It Short " owes more to Devo's "Girl You Want" or Kiss' "Rocket Ride" than any Black Sabbath song. Ross Robinson did a good job here. I like the production on the vocals and there is a great bass tone this album. I am not sure this is what I would call metal as is rocks about as hard as the Foo- Fighters or Queens of the Stone-age. I do know my wife will more than likely dig this album due to that fact. So this is going to open some doors for the band. I'm not familiar enough with their older material to scream sell-out. Some of their fans who latched onto the band for their Sargent House debut, might think recording with Korn's producer is selling out.

The more husky vocals to "No Air" bring a more muscular attack to their sound with their barbaric bellow. The band locks in behind them and the drummer's playing is particularly impressive on this song. It's still more stoner rock and not what I would call sludge or doom. While it's driving "Shadows" doesn't feel like it's focus is as tightly wound as the previous songs. Midway into the song it veers off into some angular math before locking back in.  The song's are all tightly compressed to the three minute mark. I like the taunter groove of  "Not For You" that reminds me more of Quicksand or Helmet. The first song that comes close to being metal is  "the Smell of the Sound" which carries a weighty stomp.  The energetic "the Deep" roars ahead with a lot of momentum, but to me doesn't feel like it works off the same strengths that have made this album shine and feels more like filler.

There is a burly roar summoned to "I Am a Ghost", but despite having a more groove than "the Deep" doesn't strike me as being as inspired as the other songs on this album. The don't take their feet off the gas for "Living in Lye" which sticks to the more roaring vocals. I'll around this up to a 9, not sure if I need the last three songs on my iPod the strong song are really strong, when the album picks up steam it loses some in the songwriting department by trying to go with a more Motorhead formula that doesn't work as solidly for them. If you are already a fan of this band I'm sure you still be on board for this one and the first half of the album is good enough to hook new listeners in.

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