To put it bluntly, if you don’t have at least a soft spot for Red Fang, there is something wrong with you. I’m aware that the recent statement is a very hostile opening statement for a review, but Red Fang are the goofy kids in school who did alright. Their penchant for beer, hilarious music videos and epic riffs has made them the big name they are. Yet they could be bigger, they should be bigger. I really hope Only Ghosts wins them some new fans, as the album is another classic in the Red Fang anthology.
The Portland quartet have brewed more meaty riffs in Only Ghosts than some bands will in their entire career, one listen to the album reminded me why I fell in love with the lads in the first place. From the infectious opener of ‘Flies’ to the noisy crash of ‘Living in Lye,’ it’s evident they’ve lost none of their touch. It’s an album to put the window down and drive through the desert too. It’s an album to get you through a hellish morning commute and it’s an album to just plain marvel at.
The album contains the classic Red Fang material with the infectious ‘Flies’ and ‘Shadows’ being highlights, but Red Fang have a sinister side and they are not afraid to show it. ‘The Smell of the Sound,’ lingers like Bigfoot before he pounced on its prey, before unleashing a superb bass tone and a psychedelic solo to close the song on. Red Fang also channel the spirit of early Mastodon with ‘The Deep’, adding their own twist. As the world seems to get gloomier, a darker Red Fang has emerged from it’s depths. The snarls on ‘No Air’ and ‘I Am Ghost’ are monstrous, adding a paranormal werewolf vibe to ‘I Am Ghost.’ But as always it’s the riffs that are the standout; they are beautiful, savage, sad and powerful, sometimes all at once. It may take less time to warm to than other albums in the band’s discography, but Red Fang have created a real monster of an album.
Red Fang continue their march to the top with another outstanding achievement. This band is pure class, an album for the ages and an album that aspiring bands should take notes to while listening to it. As long as there is gas in the Red Fang tank, there is hope left for this planet.
Best Tracks: Flies, Shadows, The Smell of the Sound, Living in Lye
2. “Cut It Short”
4. “No Air”
6. “Not for You”
7. “The Smell of the Sound”
8. “The Deep”
9. “I Am a Ghost”
10. “Living in Lye”
Red Fang are:
Bryan Giles – guitar, vocals
Aaron Beam – bass guitar, vocals
David Sullivan – lead guitar
John Sherman – drums