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Promising at first, ultimately disappointing - 65%

Colar, September 7th, 2011

Having already listened to their first record a few times, I came to one conclusion: they had everything to make a great record, but they lacked songs. They had a great production, a nice identity, an ultra catchy and well written lead single with a funny music video, but that's all. One single while the rest of the record was fillers.

So, how about their second record, Murder the Mountains? Well, it suffers from the exact same problem, but here the filler songs are a little better and the lead single sounds a little less killer. That's pretty much it. A great production, nice band identity, catchy and well written lead single, and a bunch of fillers and instantly forgotten songs. Don't let them fool you, because it sure sounds cool at first, but in the end it is simply a boring album. It's maybe worse giving a listen or two because of one good song (yeah okay, maybe two), but do not expect more from this band.

In fact, they sound a lot like Queens of the Stone Age minus the songwriting talent.

Above all Else, Decent - 75%

Svartekrist, August 31st, 2011

Red Fang, what can be said? If you happen to be into stoner metal, stoner rock, or anything stoner at all, this is your cup of tea. Murder the Mountains is best described as a groovy, heavy, thunderous ride of fun metal. The band is not too serious, nor too humorous, and that analogy is easily applicable for most if not all of the aspects of the music found on this album.

For starters, the guitars. The playing style in general is typical, with a saturated sound that can be very dense when the bass guitar accompany the mix. The guitars are spastic and executed rather well. As for the bass guitar itself, it is great. Sure, it does nothing new, but it gives off such a dense feel that really makes the music heavy as thunder and just as hard-hitting. The drums as well, excellent. Great sense of rhythm, yet not afraid to pick up the pace or slow down. These are highly enjoyable. As for the vocals, clean but a little raw at times, giving off a sense of primitive rage, and they are done right. Relaxed with a laid back attitude.

As for the technical stuff, the mixing and production is phenomenal. Clean but not sterile, gritty but yet making everything audible. Just the way it should be. The songwriting though, not as great sadly. Having many catchy and memorable moments pays off, but having equally many not so catchy and memorable moments, does not. This is probably the biggest weakness of Murder the Mountains. But as far as musicianship goes, it is clearly heard, everything runs like a clockwork. So aside from the half good, half bad songwriting, there is not much more bad to say about Murder the Mountains. In other words, while not perfect, at least worthwhile.

Overall, there is not much to hold against Red Fang on this one. Quite bland and boring songwriting regarding some songs, but otherwise pulled off with excellence.

Stand-out tracks: Painted Parade, Wires, Hand is Dead, Throw Up.
7,5/10

A Much More Complete Effort - 87%

HoovesCarveCraters, April 25th, 2011

Who doesn’t like Red Fang? Seriously, this band has become synonymous with fun. Don’t believe me? Go on youtube and watch their video for “Prehistoric Dog”, if you don’t smile you’re not human.

Unfortunately, that was far and away the best song on Red Fang’s eponymous debut on Sargent House Records. Well, now they’re on Relapse (home of Mastodon, Indian, Bloodiest, and other excellent artists). While Red Fang was more background music most of the time, Murder the Mountains is definitely a more active listen. There’s a really heavy Kyuss/Foo Fighters vibe on this one (case in point, “Hank is Dead”). Bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam has the perfect stoner metal voice, combine that with the non-stop riffing of guitarists David Sullivan and Maurice Bryan Gilles and the tight as fuck drumming of John Sherman you get a trippy combination that is perfect to get stoned to. While I mentioned earlier that Murder the Mountains is a more active listen than Red Fang, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. Tracks like “Dirt Wizard” and “Painted Parade” make perfect background music to throw back a dozen beers to. And if you ever wondered what a hangover would sound like in auditory form look no further than the aptly titled “Throw Up”. Do you like Black Sabbath? Red Fang do too, and they want to show you on “Into the Eye” and “The Undertow”!

Murder the Mountains has a little something for everyone. Yes, some tracks sound a little bit too similar and about three songs in you get the general idea of the album, but that isn’t too much of a bother. Chances are, you’re too drunk or stoned to care anyway. Fans of the band’s first album will be more than pleased to see a steady, yet gentle evolution in Red Fang’s sound. Casual metal fans will be happy with the restrained heaviness. As for the rest of us, well, we can just sit back, smile, and down a few beers for the boys in Red Fang for a job well done.