REVIEW: Red Fang – Only Ghosts

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Portland, Oregon’s own stoner rock kings Red Fang are back at it again with their fourth studio album, Only Ghosts. With some enhanced production, can they retain the sound that put them on the map?

First and foremost, the opening track ‘Flies’ kicks the album off with an adrenaline fueled hook that gives way to the snarls of Bryan Giles before entering a clean chorus that descends into the euphoric trippyness Red Fang are best known for. In just one track they’ve given us what we expected and now its time to grow. ‘Cut it Short’ follows up next, offering a snappy yet sprawling track that echoes the Desert rock movement established by Kyuss. We were sent on a journey that hurtles to a blistering conclusion before the band give us some time to catch our breath during ‘Flames’; the ideal instrumental interlude. A personal favorite on the album is ‘Shadows’. Lyrically it’s simple, yet its 5/4 time signature and layering of John Sherman’s drums against David Sullivan’s riffs create a volatile backdrop for a mano a mano tale of revenge.

Produced by Ross Robinson (Slipknot, The Cure), Only Ghosts delivers 10 bombastic tracks filled with the melodic groove that fans already loved but now with a somewhat cleaner tone that does wonders in emphasizing the intricacies of the bands technicality and sense of scale. The album is a ride that rarely ever falters, the pacing is excellent and the cleaner sound provides a breath of fresh air to not only this sub-genre but metal in general. We can’t recommend this highly enough.

Only Ghosts by Red Fang is released on October 14th via Relapse Records.

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