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Review: RED FANG ‘Arrows’

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Words by Jimmy Glinster


Described as beer-crushing, zombie-killing, air-guitar-contest-judging metal, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this album. I had heard these guys many years ago during that whole sludge/doom/swamp/desert metal era where a thousand bands all emerged with a very similar sound. That sound where the guitars resemble a $99 cash converters special being played through a blown speaker and a bass guitar tone that resembles a wet fart.


The opening intro Take it Back does not disappoint in the wet fart department with the added feeling of a somewhat distressed, pissed, and stoned sounding vocal moan.


Unreal Estate follows suit but brings in some nice real-sounding drums which is quite refreshing compared to all the sound replaced and programmed drums that flood the metal albums these days. Slow chugs, a few odd chords, and drawn-out vocals pretty much sum up this track until it hits a somewhat melodic vocal chorus melody. Then back to the good ol’ chug-chug-drone-drone which is almost a given with this style of metal.


Surprisingly, the title track Arrows kicks in with a more melodic and rhythmic feel, which is actually not a bad little catchy tune. The use of dual octave guitar parts helps fill the simplistic chords and widens the musical spectrum.


My Disaster lifts the tempo a little for a short but sweet 2 min of rocking good times before Two High brings in a catchy little bass line that you would expect from a nu-metal band, before busting into a killer rock riff. At this point, the album drifts away from my initial expectations of the opening two tracks, as does the next track Anodyne with another groovy little bass line. If they keep this up, I may just make it through the entire album.


We’ll skip over Interop-Mod very quickly, which is some kind of useless little one-minute noise track.


Fonzi Scheme introduces the most technical guitar riff so far, and something that weirdly sounds like a keyboard, a very out of place once, while a seemingly intentional tempo shifts occurs and slightly confuses the listener, well this listener anyway. Yeah, this a weird one which really doesn’t make that much sense in the big scheme of the whole sludgy-sludgy doom thing, although it does bring you the next track Days Collide which eventually speeds back up into a rockier faster vibe in preparation for a 1:37 second punk track titled Rabbits in Hives.


The final three tracks Why, Dr Owl and Funeral Coach complete the album a little more up-tempo than the album would have you expect. These are probably my top three picks for the album. An album which had me not knowing what to expect but delivered exactly what I deep down knew I expected. Fans of the band and the many dad metal genres will really enjoy this album, as did I.


Hell, this old man might even give it a few more listens!

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