Red Fang – Whales and Leeches | Review

Red Fang have been a band simmering on the cusp of greatness for a while now, with 2011’s Murder The Mountains and a coinciding supporting Mastodon having helped thrust them ever closer to their inevitable peak. Whales and Leeches may just be the record that brings them to the boil; a catalyst for big things to come.

Having had over two months of down time in which to write and record this record, rather than the more time restricted sessions of the past, the Portland four piece have returned with their sharpest and freshest release yet. This is the kind of record that will please stoner rock fans worldwide, all the while bringing a more commercial feel to the table.

"Failure" for instance, possess a hook that wouldn’t sound out of place on Alice In ChainsDirt yet the song as a whole oozes an unmistakably Red Fang vibe. While the ingredients used are nothing particularly innovative; a pinch a Black Sabbath, a dollop of Mastodon and so on, it is how they put them together that make the record so special. Lead single "Blood Like Cream" boasts a startling simplicity that has been play listed on countless radio stations while early tracks "DOEN" and "Crows In Swine" relentlessly throw a stream of riffs and hooks into your ears.

If you were to scrutinize the album in anyway, it wouldn’t be entirely unfair to question the longevity of some of these songs. Whether or not the entire record can stand the test of time to be revered as a modern classic is a case of only time will tell.

"Every Little Twist", meanwhile, provides a fitting final flourish with haunting, brooding atmospherics which border on the psychedelic. These are the sounds ushered by a band charging through the gears, growing and evolving as songwriters, it is the sound of a very bright future indeed.

Phil Weller

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Phil Weller is a freelance writer with over 4 years experience of journalism under his belt. Having created pieces for the likes of BBC Radio 2 and reporting on the London 2012 Olympics, he began writing about the music he is passionate at the turn of the year. He and now writes for various sites including Planet Mosh, Manchester Rocks and Sludgelord. Follow his deluded ramblings @philipweller.