Fuck yeah Red Fang. Fuck yeah.
“Whales and Leeches” is this Portlandia quartets third studio album and a follow up to 2011s “Murder the Mountains”. In that space of time they have been touring like migratory birds and cultivating both their fanbase and presence as one of modern rock and rolls top dogs. While the more genre-distinguished may argue that Red Fang’s style is much more akin to a hybrid of sludge, stoner and classic rock, their accessibility and overall awesomeness made me decide to go for the rock and roll tag.
“Murder the Mountains” was a stellar album. I don’t think I was disappointed by a single track, for me that record is nonstop hair-flailing fun from start to finish. So as you might expect, “Whales and Leeches” was way up there on my “I WANNA WANNA WANT IT” list. It seems almost redundant to ask the question, “Was the waiting worth it?” because you all know the answer is a resounding TRUCK YES IT WAS.
Right from the get go Red Fang open up their immediately recognizable brand of whoop-ass with “DOEN” and “Blood like Cream”. Both heavy rockin’, thrasin’, rippin’, all the goddamn words that end in -in’. Pounding riffs with just that perfect amount of fuzz, stoner grooves, catchy as fuck choruses, tasty, tasty solos and those equally tasty vocal harmonies. I AM SO FULFILLED RIGHT NOW.
“Whales and Leeches” also showcases what is now Red Fang’s trademark diversity, as the first six tracks rip and roar their way through the speakers in short order. Lean and hard as fuck, the top half of this album sets you up for a balls out rager, then “Dawn Rising” comes along.
A slap to a face from slow-the-fuck-down-field, it is integrated perfectly into the album, with the song opening up in a similar fashion to its predecessors until that fucking excellent changeup. Probably the dirtiest riff on the album gets slapped down an octave lower and several BPM slower signifying the shift towards the dark, dank and heavy.
“Failure”, “The Animal” and “1516” all display this slower, meaner and more aggressive tone that “Dawn Rising” set. Riffs on top of riffs on top of riffs on top of more riffs, it’s shit like this that got me off my ass to preach on the internet about how awesome this music is. This album will be getting spun into the ground before the year is over and it sure as fuck will have a place on my year end list.
Couple side notes. Dat album art. Just lookatit. “Murder the Mountains” is alright but this new cover needs to be blown up and hung on my wall very soon. Also the goodies haven’t stopped coming yet. Red Fang have given themself a reputation for awesome, over-the top music videos (“Prehistoric Dog”, “Wires”, “Hank is Dead”) and while we are yet to see any Whitey McConnaughy madness for this new album I have a feeling it won’t be long a wait.
So yeah, I could keep jerking off over this album all night but I think the amount of times I’ve used caps-lock in this piece should be a pretty gauge of how I feel about this album. Of course there is a massive North American tour in support of this and you can find dates for that on their Facebook page.
So in conclusion; go listen you dirt worshiping heathens.