Only Ghosts by Red Fang

Red Fang’s latest 41-minute offering is bound to satiate those mediocre stoner rock cravings we all get from time to time.

It would, perhaps, be wrong to say that Red Fang have commercialised their sound with this new record, as they were never a particularly inaccessible band to begin with. However, that being said, there is a clear attempt in these tracks, particularly in the first half of the LP, to attain a more melodic and alt-rock influenced sound. This, on its own, is not necessarily any cause for alarm; there are plenty of bands like Red Fang that have had no problem at all in transitioning to a more radio-friendly sound. But Red Fang are, evidently, not one of these bands.

Speaking in terms of the actual content of the album, the Portland-based outfit spend the first twenty minutes playing the same 4/4 pentatonic riff-worship that they’ve been wanking over since their debut, which contains a few highlights in the songs ‘Flies’, ‘No Air’, and ‘Not For You’, all clearly showing that Red Fang can still write a great, mosh-able tune; so much so, in fact, that they wrote the same song three times over.

The second half of this trainwreck begins with the actually good song, ‘The Smell of the Sound’, and then continues with three more tracks which, yet again, sound exactly the same as it. On these tracks, the band appears to be channelling the style of fellow headbangers Mastodon, although they manage to do so in a remarkably awkward fashion.

The album has about three good songs, but the bottom line is Only Ghosts fails because they are actively stripping down and polishing a sound that was already stripped-down and polished enough five years ago.

Zack Moore

(Image: Team Rock)

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