Red Fang – Arrows (Review)

Red Fang - ArrowsThis is the fourth album from Red Fang, a sludge rock band from the US.

Red Fang play scuzzy, murky sludge rock, and do so with swampy skill. Across 43 minutes the band kick out the jams with commendable ability, but also provide more depth than your average purveyor of this style does.

The songs are well-written and festooned with catchy riffs and vocal hooks. The bass is thick and its presence is a constant distorted joy. The gritty production adds to the music’s earthy feel, and the band’s honest and passionate delivery is endearing and moreish. Doom and punk influences are both deployed to further provide variety of range. The skeleton of the songs on Arrows is a strong one in its own right, but thankfully it has also been fleshed out with Red Fang’s own idiosyncratic personality.

Yes, amidst the high rocking veneer of the album though lies a darker, more inventive beast. Throughout Arrows you can hear psychedelic and experimental elements working in tandem with the main rocking core of the band. Little creative nuances, sounds, and ideas pepper this album, (an atypical melody, dramatic keyboards, textured sounds, unexpected compositional structures, etc.), helping to raise it well above the average. These flourishes are embedded well, enriching the songs with flavoursome musical enhancements that add to their depths just enough, without becoming distracting or detracting. Red Fang are a highly competent sludge rock band regardless of these musical additions, but with them they’re even better.

The overall result is an album that has more than enough instant appeal to satisfy, but that also has surprising depth and substance to keep enticing the listener back to its murky hidden deeps. You might come for the riffs, but you’ll stay for the full experience.

For fans of sludge rock this is a highly recommended one. Don’t miss out on the delights of Arrows.

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