FROM Portland, Oregon the bastard child of an unholy foursome consisting of the Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch and Mastodon emerged kicking and screaming into the world demanding beer and distorted guitars -and thus Red Fang were born.
This creature has now stumbled into the light of its third-album, Whales and Leeches, a furious melange of stoner, progressive, hard rockin' metal. If using those phrases together confuse you, then we suggest you just stick to the Red Fang Beer Game...
Whales and Leeches is an accomplished compendium of tunes, from the furious driving pace of No Hope, to the slowed down sludge of Failure.
Everywhere you can hear a band straining at the leash, creative juices oozing from album opener Doen to closer, the mightily impressive Every Little Twist.
Too often bands like Red Fang get categorised in the most clichéd manner, and not just with the terms randomly flung about above. But dig a little beneath the tracks and there is much more going on; veering from incessant nagging riffs such as on Voices of the Dead, to stoner anthems such as Blood Like Cream and on to the slowed down complexity of Dawn Rising (star track from our point of view).
The involvement of Mike Scheidt (Yob) and Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession) has certainly helped this record, but the production and mix lend the extra touch.
At times the tracks have a hypnotic roll, with Bryan Giles, Aaron Beam, David Sullivan and John Sherman welded together in a fierce determination to nail your arse to the floor.
Low bottom end with the weaving guitar and, at times, chanted vocals produce an album of ferocity and subtlety.
With Whales and Leeches Red Fang have introduced upon an unsuspecting world one of the definitive hard driving, stoner, heavy records of perhaps the decade so far. Bold claim? Listen to them and judge for yourself.
Whales and Leeches is released in the UK on October 21st