Red Fang – Only Ghosts (Album Review)

Fresh from having their music and likeness featured all over Pabst Blue Ribbon’s new pinball machine, The Can Crusher, Red Fang is set to release new album Only Ghosts. The Ross Robinson produced album sees a big step away from previous efforts in terms of sound, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The ten song effort plays as if it were just one song; not in a ‘storyteller’ way but in the way it molds together due to the reliance on droning riffs and a lack of tempo. But don’t get me wrong; the album has some majorly bad ass moments. For the most part ‘Cut it Short’ is simply head-bob inducing, but then you stumble upon the bridge which, despite slowing the tempo down, still has a lot going on; it’s riveting.

‘Shadows’ (on which the band teamed up with Jackass: The Movie director Whitey McConnaughy for the accompanying video) is a fast and fiery tune that gets you right where it hurts. From its first few moments, the drums beat is a greasy little diddy that carries you through three minutes of aggression.

Likely the standout song on the album, ‘The Smell of the Sound’ brought a lot of experimentation along with some old tricks. Vocals, tempo changes and guitar solos seemingly come out of nowhere, and it’s here where the droning sound of the album works flawlessly, almost inviting the listener to close their eyes and enjoy the ride; wherever it happens to end up.

However, one thing it does lack is variety. With only a handful of standout tracks attention can start to wane after multiple listens. But hey, all the Red Fang signatures are there, making Only Ghosts a sustained yet safe effort.

2.5/5

Only Ghosts is out on October 14th via Relapse Records

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