Red Fang

Murder the Mountains

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With popular music becoming increasingly homogenized-sounding in the early 21st century (a dangerous cocktail of Pro Tools and American Idol), it's becoming harder to find rock bands that haven't been affected as well by the changing tides. Thankfully, listeners still have bands like Red Fang. As heard throughout its 2011 release, Murder the Mountains, the band is a throwback of sorts to two separate eras that embraced raw and rocking musicianship -- the early '70s and the early '90s -- both of which focused on the sound of live bands letting it rip in the studio. And as a result, Red Fang recall such bands as Black Sabbath (from the former era) and the Melvins and Tad (from the latter era). But don't be misled into thinking that Red Fang are of the "stoner rock" variety, as they don't put meandering sludge riffing at the top of their priority list. No way. Memorable songs with catchy (yet heavy) parts rule the roost here, as evidenced by such standouts as "Wires," "Dirt Wizard," and "Throw Up" (all of which are separately reminiscent of the aforementioned bands, in respective order). If only there were more bands like Red Fang, who haven't forgotten what made their Sabbath records so special in the first place -- the sound of real human beings leaving their greasy fingerprints all over heavy riffs, with no desire to "clean things up" afterwards.

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