Mouth for War 

Red Fang's Vulgar Display of Power

Red Fang has ex-member pedigree for miles—Party Time, Last of the Juanitas, Face Down in Shit, Bad Wizard, Lachrymator. Doomed to the antlion trap of comparative history, the usual result of such diluted recycling is slow extinction. But in Red Fang's case, the chrysalis has become a black-winged beast; the result of beautiful primordial devolution.

Red Fang push SST sludge and Thor's hammer riffage through big filthy Sunn amps, and slay Sabbath's rhythm section using the jawbone of Greg Ginn. The result? Big gigantic rock that is easy to listen to (not easy listening, mind you)—it just makes sense, sounds good, and qualifies the simultaneous usage of both the thinking and the banging head, which are usually mutually exclusive.

Yes, Red Fang's instrumentation is fluid and effortless, but the main sticking point for much of metal is: Does the singer suck? Does he sound like Cookie Monster? Here Red Fang do not disappoint. Fuck, the vocals sound great. They're delivered melodically and forcefully, with enough rasp and effect saturation to fit with the music. Paired with elemental imagery on tracks like "Reverse Thunder," the words become hefty and satisfying.

Red Fang's agenda is appropriately busy. According to thunderstick operator (and former Mercury employee) Aaron Beam, the band is "in the woodshed working on new material," and will begin recording a new album in February. They hit SXSW in March, in addition to having a slew of West Coast dates lined up with the likes of Big Business and the Cops. Then, hopefully, we'll get a new album in time for a big blood-sacrifice ritual during the spring equinox.

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