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Red Fang - Murder The Mountains
on 13 October 2011
2011's Murder The Mountains is the second full-length album from Red Fang. It is somewhat of a grower and may take a few listens to fully get into, as while the music is all very strong and interesting, it doesn't jump out at you as immediately as tracks from their previous album like `Prehistoric Dog,' did, for example, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded for your patience.
While reading a list of other bands in relation to one band can often be annoying; Red Fang are often described as being suitable for fans of bands like Mastodon, Baroness, Clutch, Melvins, The Sword, Fu Manchu and Queens Of The Stone Age and this does a good job not only of describing which end of the musical spectrum they sit on, but also the fact that the band flit psychotically between styles. Red Fang are compared to all the aforementioned artists seriously and not just because of touring partnerships or basic genre comparisons.
For example, the opening track `Malverde,' is tom-based with complex instrumentation and sludgey vocals reminiscent of Baroness and Early Mastodon but the very next track `Wires,' is a bouncy, simplistic good time rock and roll number with clean and melodic vocals reminiscent of QOTSA, at least until the atmospheric proggy build up in the middle, at which point things change once more into a grand and spacey direction reminiscent of modern Mastodon.
In the space between two songs, or even half a song Red Fang completely shift direction and cover all sorts of ground along the Stoner/Sludge/Progressive-Sludge areas of the genre, while still maintaining an original identity. Their sound can be dark, dense and brooding but it can also be bright, happy and bouncy.
Album highlights include the speedy and impressive `Painted Parade,' the melodic Stoner-Rock track `Number Thirteen,' as well as the upbeat `Hank Is Dead' and the aforementioned `Wires.'
Overall; Murder The Mountains is a good record from Red Fang, while not exactly being a whirlwind of originality, they are musically competent and deliver this sort of music very well. Though it has been much said before, if you enjoy the sort of music that the aforementioned bands make, then you should give Red Fang a try; they use the same sorts of scales, play the same sorts of notes and arrange music in the same sorts of ways that those bands do.