Posted in Features on January 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan
The poll is closed, the results are counted and the top 20 albums of 2016 have been chosen. Hard to argue with the list as it’s shown up over the course of the past month, so I won’t try. Instead, let me just say thanks to incredible amount of participants who contributed this year.
All told, between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, 612 people added their picks to the proceedings, compared to 388 in last year’s poll. Considering how much that number blew my mind on Jan. 1, 2016, I’m sure you can imagine how I feel about adding another 200-plus lists to the pot. In short, I’m astounded, deeply humbled and so, so, so grateful. I feel like we got enough of a sampling this year to give a genuinely representative showing for where people’s heads have been at, so thank you if you were a part of it.
Thank you as well as always to Slevin for running the poll’s back end and tabulating the results. As ever, the weighting system is one in which a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one. You’ll find that list (plus some honorable mentions) below, followed by the raw-vote tally.
And after the jump, as has become the tradition, are the full lists of everyone who submitted, alphabetized by name. I’m in there too. It’s a huge amount to wade through, and even if you thought you heard everything in 2016, it should be more than enough to keep you busy for the next year.
One last note: I’m no statistician. Please allow for these numbers to change over the next couple days on some small level.
Top 20 of 2016 — Weighted Results
1. Wo Fat, Midnight Cometh (375 points)
2. Greenleaf, Rise Above the Meadow (368)
3. Elephant Tree, Elephant Tree (324)
4. Asteroid, III (302)
5. Brant Bjork, Tao of the Devil (295)
6. Gozu, Revival (274)
7. Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (253)
8. King Buffalo, Orion (244)
9. Mars Red Sky, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (238)
10. Conan, Revengeance (232)
11. Cough, Still They Pray (228)
12. Holy Grove, Holy Grove (218)
13. SubRosa, For this We Fought the Battle of Ages (213)
14. Truckfighters, V (206)
15. Blood Ceremony, Lord of Misrule (200)
16. Khemmis, Hunted (192)
16. Red Fang, Only Ghosts (192)
17. Inter Arma, Paradise Gallows (181)
18. Witchcraft, Nucleus (174)
19. Opeth, Sorceress (173)
20. Church of Misery, And then there Were None (159)
Honorable mention to:
Causa Sui, Return to Sky (157)
Goatess, II: Purgatory Under New Management (157)
Black Mountain, IV (148)
Mos Generator, Abyssinia (144)
Wretch, Wretch (140)
Look at those tallies for number one and two. That race was close all month. Wo Fat kept out front for the most part, but Greenleaf kept it interesting and Elephant Tree’s debut snuck in there at third, which I love to see, both because it’s their first album and because that record was indeed so great. King Buffalo, another debut, also made the top 10, underscoring those two as bands to watch, and though Brant Bjork, Conan, Asteroid, Neurosis, Gozu and Mars Red Sky might be more expected names, they still certainly delivered excellent records, so again, nothing to fight with here. Things flesh out a bit in the 10-20 range, but I don’t think there’s one album on this list you could call is “miss.”
Top 20 of 2016 — Raw Votes
1. Wo Fat, Midnight Cometh (109)
2. Greenleaf, Rise Above the Meadow (92)
3. Brant Bjork, Tao of the Devil (87)
4. Elephant Tree, Elephant Tree (82)
5. Asteroid, III (80)
6. Gozu, Revival (76)
7. Conan, Revengeance (73)
8. Cough, Still They Pray (70)
9. Mars Red Sky, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (68)
10. King Buffalo, Orion (67)
11. Truckfighters, V (62)
12. Red Fang, Only Ghosts (61)
13. Khemmis, Hunted (60)
14. Blood Ceremony, Lord of Misrule (59)
14. SubRosa, For this We Fought the Battle of Ages (59)
15. Holy Grove, Holy Grove (58)
16. Church of Misery, And then there Were None (53)
17. Inter Arma, Paradise Gallows (49)
17. Witchcraft, Nucleus (49)
18. Opeth, Sorceress (47)
19. Mos Generator, Abyssinia (45)
20. Black Mountain, IV (44)
20. Causa Sui, Return to Sky (44)
20. Wretch, Wretch (44)
Honorable mention to:
Goatess, II: Purgatory Under New Management (43)
Mondo Drag, The Occultation of Light (43)
Geezer, Geezer (41)
Crowbar, The Serpent Only Lies (41)
Gojira, Magma (37)
Slomatics, Future Echo Returns (36)
Graves at Sea, The Curse that Is… (35)
Black Rainbows, Stellar Prophecy (33)
Beastmaker, Lusus Naturae (32)
Vokonis, Olde One Ascending (31)
Left a few more honorable mentions in the raw-vote count, just for fun and so you could get more of a feel beyond the top 20 itself, which you’ll notice has a couple ties in it as the raw votes usually do and reorganizes a bit from the weighted results. One and two remain the same, however, and in the same order, and you’ll see Wo Fat was the only album that scored more than 100 votes on its own. As a whole, there were over 2,400 separate entries for albums this year, which is by far the most spread out that the voting has ever been. Frankly, with so many people involved and such a variety of stuff being voted on, I’m amazed anyone managed to agree on anything at all, but of course they did and once again a stellar list is the result.
Well, Happy New Year.
Before I go, thanks again to Slevin for the work put into running the back end of this site and this poll particularly. I show up with the finish lists, but it’s his code that makes it happen, and his efforts are appreciated more than I can say. Dude has never asked me for anything in the nearly eight years I’ve been a constant pain in his ass.
After the jump, you’ll find everybody’s list, alphabetized by name. Please enjoy browsing. I hope you find something awesome, because there’s certainly plenty in there that qualifies, and if you see something that looks like it appears often enough that it should be included in one or both of the counts above, let me know in the comments.
Posted in Reviews on December 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
Feeling good going into day two of the Quarterly Review. The good news about how heavy music has become such a vast universe is that there’s always plenty to cover without having to really dig into stuff I don’t find interesting. Of course, the other side of that is feeling constantly behind the curve and overwhelmed by it all, but let’s not talk about that for the moment. Point is that as we make our way through this week and into the next — because, remember, it’s six days this time, not five — a big part of me still feels like I’m just scratching the surface of everything that’s out there. It still seems just to be a fraction of the whole story being told around the world in the riffiest of languages. We all do what we can, I guess. Let’s get started.
Quarterly Review #11-20:
Red Fang, Only Ghosts
Four albums into one of the decade’s most successful and influential heavy rock careers, doesn’t it seem like Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang are due for a truly great record? Their 2013 outing, Whales and Leeches (discussed here), was rushed by the band’s own admission – their focus, as ever, on touring – and Only Ghosts (on Relapse) unites them with producer Ross Robinson and mixer Joe Barresi, two considerable names to bring heft and presence to the 10-track/42-minute outing. And I’ve no doubt that “Shadows” and the bigger-grooving “The Smell of the Sound” and opener “Flies” kick ass when delivered from the stage, and it’s true they sound more considered with the ambience of “Flames” positioned early, but Only Ghosts still comes across like a collection of songs united mostly by the timeframe in which they were written. Doesn’t mean they don’t build on Whales and Leeches, but now five years on from 2011’s Murder the Mountains (review here), and with their dynamic, charged and momentum-driven sound firmly established, Red Fang still seem to be at the threshold of some crucial forward step rather than stomping all over it as one might hope.
After releasing a self-titled debut (review here) and the follow-up Andromeda (review here) in 2014, 2016’s Sea of Clouds (on Crispin Glover/Stickman) is the third proper studio full-length from Norway’s Black Moon Circle – though at that point, define “proper.” In 2015, the trio/four-piece – Trondheim-based guitarist Vemund Engan, bassist Øyvin Engan and drummer Per Andreas Gulbrandsen, plus Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective on synth – also released The Studio Jams Vol. I (discussed here) and in addition to the four tracks of Sea of Clouds, they’ve also had a Vol. II (review here) out this year. The definitions become fluid, is what I’m saying, and that couldn’t be more appropriate for the sound of “Lunar Rocket,” the outward-gazing space rock of “The Magnificent Dude,” “Moondog” and “Warp Speed,” which indeed offer enough kosmiche expanse to make one wonder where the song ends and the jam begins. Or, you know, reality. One has to wonder if Black Moon Circle might bridge the gap at some point between studio improv and more plotted songwriting, but as it stands, neither side of their dual personality fails to engage with its flow and drift.
A one-sided 12” EP issued by STB Records in late 2015 as the follow-up to Richmond dirge-fuzzer trio Druglord’s debut album, Enter Venus (review here), the three-track Deepest Regrets represents the band’s final studio material with bassist Greta Brinkman (ex-L7) in the lineup, who’s since been replaced by Julian Cook. That distinction matters in no small part because so much of Druglord’s purposes on Deepest Regrets’ three component songs – “Regret to Dismember,” “Speedballs to Hell” and “Heaven Tonight” – is about reveling in low end. Rawer than was the album preceding, they find guitarist/vocalist/organist Tommy Hamilton, Brinkman and drummer Bobby Hufnell emitting an oozing lurch, blasting out thickened motor-riffing, and fortifying a darkly psychedelic drear – in that order. True to EP form, each song gives a sampling of some of what Druglord has to offer coming off the album, and with a recording job by Garrett Morris, who also helmed the LP, it remains a fair look at where they might head next, despite the shift in lineup.
Melbourne’s Holy Serpent return with Temples (on RidingEasy), their second full-length after 2015’s self-titled debut (review here), and continue to offer an engaging blend of well-blazed psychedelia and heavier-rolling groove. Especially considering they’ve still only been a band for two years, the four-piece of guitarists Nick Donoughue and Scott Penberthy (the latter also vocals), bassist Dave Barlett and Lance Leembrugen remain striking in their cohesion of purpose, and Temples opener “Purification by Fire” and ensuing cuts like the fuzz-wall centerpiece “Toward the Sands” and echo-laden “The Black Stone” only continue to stretch their intentions toward ever more acid-ic flow. They called it “shroom doom” last time out, and seem to have moved away from that self-branding, but however one wants to label Temples, its five tracks/43 minutes push ahead from where Holy Serpent were just a year ago and, rounding out with the slower churn of “Sativan Harvest,” still reminds that mind expansion and deeply weighted tonecraft are by no means mutually exclusive.
Self-releasing Croatian instrumental trio Drone Hunter devise vigilantly straightforward riffing on their second album, Welcome to the Hole, finding room for some charm in titles like “Wine Dick,” “Crazy Ants with Shotguns” and the closing “A Burning Sensation,” the latter of which seems to draw particularly from the playbook of Karma to Burn. That comparison is almost inevitable for any riff-led/sans-vocal three-piece working in this form, but the crunch in “Fog Horn” and “Waltz of the Iron Countess” isn’t without its own personality either, and as with a host of acts from the Croatian underground, they seem to have a current of metal to their approach that, in the case of Welcome to the Hole, only makes the entire affair seem tighter and more precise while maintaining tonal presence. Fitz (guitar), Klen (bass) and Rus (drums) might not be much for words or last names, but their sophomore full-length comprises solid riffs and grooves and doesn’t seem to ask anything more than a nod from its audience. A price easily paid.
Lugweight is comprised solely of Brooklyn-via-Richmond-Virginia transplant Eric Benson, and the project makes its full-length debut with the evocatively-titled drone wash of Yesterday following one EP and preceding another. Fair to call it an experimental release, since that’s kind of the nature of the aesthetic, but Benson demonstrates a pretty clear notion of the sort of noise he’s interested in making, and there’s plenty of it on Yesterday in “Sleeping on Cocaine,” on which one can hear the undulating wavelengths emanating from speaker cones, or the penultimate “Love Song for the Insane,” which features chanting vocals in echoes cutting through a tonal morass but still somehow obscure. A 33-minute five-tracker, Yesterday doesn’t overstay its welcome, but alternates between sonic horrors and warmer immersion in the shorter centerpiece “Bleed My Sorrow” and closer “Show Me Where the Shovel Is,” coming dangerously close in the latter to doom riffing that one might almost dare to put drums to. Solo drone guitar, even when this thick, is never for everyone, but one doubts Benson was shooting for accessibility anyhow.
To hear Australia’s Megaritual tell it, the 25-minute single-song Eclipse EP was recorded on Mt. Jerusalem in New South Wales this past summer, the one-man outfit of vocalist/guitarist/sitarist/drummer Dale Paul Walker working with bassist/Monotronist Govinda Das to follow-up his prior two Mantra Music EPs, recently compiled onto an LP (review here) by White Dwarf Records. Whether or not that’s the case, “Eclipse” itself is suitably mountainous, building along a linear course from sea level to a grand peak with droning patience and gradual volume swells, lush and immersive psychedelia in slow-motion trails, a sparse verse, percussion, sitar, guitar, bass, and so on coming to a glorious vista around the 17:30 mark only to recede again circa six minutes later in a more precipitous dropoff. The digital edition (and that’s the only edition thus far) comes with a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” which makes good company for the hypnotic titular exploration and the quick progression it represents after the other two short releases.
Heavy psychedelic pastoralists Red Lama enter the conversation of 2016’s best debut albums with Dreams are Free, initially released on All Good Clean Records and subsequently picked up by Stickman. Leaning more toward the liquid end of psych-blues, the Danish seven-piece immediately transcend with opener “Inca” (video here) and quickly showcase a subtlety for build that only gets more potent as they move through “Sonic Revolution” and “The World is Yours,” unfolding due heft in the latter without losing the laid back sensibility that the vocals bring sweetly, melodically, to the material. The later “Mekong River” seems almost like it’s going to shoegaze itself into post-rock oblivion, but Red Lama hold their sound together even into the 10-minute closer “Dalai Delay” – aptly-titled twice over – and deliver with striking patience a languid flow with hints of underlying prog experimentation. How that will come to fruition will have to remain to be seen/heard, but Dreams are Free also dips into funkier groove on “Dar Enteha,” so while they probably could be if they were feeling lazy, Red Lama don’t at all seem to be finished growing. All the better.
Lacy is an experimental solo-project from former Lord guitarist Stephen Sullivan, based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and part of a deep sludge underground that goes back well over a decade. Andromeda is his third album with the outfit and the second to be released in 2016, though unlike the preceding Volume 2. Blue, its 12 tracks were recorded in a matter of months, not years. All instruments, arrangements, vocals and the raw recording were handled by Sullivan himself (he also took the photo on the cover) but cuts like “Gyre Hell” and the acoustic “Push Me Away” veer around self-indulgence or hyper-navelgazing – I’d call “Offal and the Goat Brains” experimental, but not narcissistic – and he seems more interested in writing songs than making a show of being outside this or that imaginary box. Still, Andromeda offers diversity of instrumentation and arrangement, unplugging once more for “Healer” before closer “Always” finishes the album as a rumbling and grunge-laden love song.
After catching on late to German metallers Valborg’s 2015 fifth album, Romantik, I told myself I wasn’t going to miss whatever they did next. The single Werwolf (on Temple of Torturous and Zeitgeister) might be a quick check-in of just two songs – “Ich Bin Total” and “Werwolf” itself – but the classic European-style death-doom chug of the latter and the vicious crash of the former I still consider a reward for keeping an eye out. “Ich Bin Total” is less than three and a half minutes long, and “Werwolf” just over five, but both feature choice chug riffing, darkened atmospherics and art-metal growls that only add to the clenched-teeth intensity of the instruments surrounding. They spare neither impact nor ambience nor lives as Werwolf plays out, the title cut riding its massive progression forward to a sensory-overload of nod before finally offering some release to the tension in a second-half guitar lead, only to revive the brutality once more, repetitions of “werwolf” chanted in growls over it. Awesome.
Look, some shit just works. This track taken from their upcoming LP, Only Ghosts (out Oct. 10 on Relapse), marks the sixth time that Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang have collaborated with video director Whitey McConnaughy, and clearly it’s a system that isn’t broken. Hell, I think you could very easily make the argument that it was the viral takeoff from “Prehistoric Dog” from their 2009 self-titled debut that had a major part in Relapse picking them up for 2011’s Murder the Mountains (review here). And each subsequent clip the four-piece and McConnaughy have made together has been likewise entertaining and likewise successful. Remember “Wires” (posted here)? That was awesome.
You’ve probably seen this already — because the internet — but I wanted to get “Shadows” posted anyway, particularly as it comes coupled with a mighty package of tour dates that only further emphasize the fact that in addition to handing heavy rock and roll its ass with songwriting and their sense of humor, Red Fang also outwork just about everybody on the road. One doubts they’re sleeping on floors at this point, or at least not every night, but even as they moved through 2013’s Whales and Leeches (discussed here), they have kept that ethic going and as a result have become a powerhouse live act worthy of stepping into the headliner role they’ve taken on over the last several years. Dudes kill it. On just about every level.
Interested to dig into the Ross Robinson-produced Only Ghosts, and “Shadows” provides even more intrigue.
Red Fang, “Shadows” official video
Red Fang mess with the wrong comic book collectors in the band’s new video for “Shadows.”
“We had the pleasure of working with Whitey (McConnaughy) again on another music video,” Red Fang singer/guitar player Bryan Giles explains of the Predator like clip. “It was a crazy adventure through the woods in rural Oregon. It has stunt men, real firepower and some great explosions! We had a blast on this one.”
The video is the sixth video to pair Red Fang and director McConnaughy with the first clip from the partnership being 2010’s “Prehistoric Dog,” which saw the Portland-based band challenge a local role playing troupe only to suffer the consequences. The most recent video from the band is the 2013 clip featuring Fred Armisen and a horde of beer thirsty zombies in “Blood Like Cream.”
“Shadows” is the second new song to preview music from the band’s Ross Robinson produced album, Only Ghosts (Oct. 14, Relapse Records).
The band kick off an extensive fall tour on Sept. 26 with the first leg being a month of European tour dates followed by a month of U.S. dates. Label mates Torche will open on both runs with Whores joining the U.S. dates.
Red Fang tour dates: September 22 Portland, OR Northwest Hesh Fest September 26 Brighton, UK Concorde 2 September 27 London, UK Koko September 28 Bristol, UK Bierkeller September 29 Leeds, UK Leeds Stylus September 30 Manchester, UK Manchester Academy 2 October 2 Birmingham, UK Institute2 October 3 Glasgow, UK Garage October 4 Newcastle, UK Riverside October 5 Southampton, UK Engine Rooms October 7 Athens, Greece Desert Fest October 9 Paris, France Trabendo October 10 Munich, Germany Strom October 11 Vienna, Austria Szene Wien October 12 Berlin, Germany Huxleys October 13 Cologne, Germany Essigfabrik October 14 Antwerp, Belgium Desert Fest October 15 Leipzig, Germany Conne Island October 16 Hamburg, Germany Markethalle October 18 Odense, Denmark Posten October 19 Oslo, Norway John Dee October 20 Stockholm, Sweden Debaser Medis October 21 Malmo, Sweden KB October 22 Munster, Germany Skater’s Place October 23 Karlsruhe, Germany Substage October 24 Amsterdam, Netherlands Melkweg (OZ)
November 18 San Francisco, CA Slim’s November 19 Pomona, CA Glasshouse November 20 Los Angeles, CA Teragram Ballroom November 22 San Diego, CA Casbah November 23 Phoenix, AZ Rebel Lounge November 25 Austin, TX Mohawk November 26 Dallas, TX Three Links November 27 Houston, TX Warehouse Studio November 29 Atlanta, GA Masquerade (Hell) November 30 Durham, NC Motorco December 1 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel December 2 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts December 3 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg December 4 Boston, MA The Sinclair December 5 New York, NY Mercury Lounge December 7 Pittsburgh, PA Spirit Lounge December 8 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom December 9 Detroit, MI El Club December 10 Chicago, IL Metro December 11 Bloomington, IL Castle Theater December 13 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater December 14 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge December 15 Boise, ID Neurolux December 16 Seattle, WA Showbox
Torche appears on all European and U.S. dates except Heshfest Whores appear on all U.S. dates except Heshfest
The reason I say it’s Red Fang‘s first tour in the US for their new album Only Ghosts is because we know damn well it won’t be the last. Forerunners of Portland’s heavy rock scene and having already had a significant influence on the development thereof, Red Fang will issue Only Ghosts on Oct. 14 via Relapse Records, and while they were already booked to head overseas with Torchewhen the record was announced and the first track streamed, it seems the two groups will partner for a US run a few weeks after the European one is finished. Whores will also join in on the fun for the US dates, which bring the band right up to the holidays.
Doubtless they’ll be back on the road in 2017 — the future! — so keep an eye out in the next couple months for more to come. A corresponding Spring run doesn’t seem unlikely, though we also know that’s when a lot of US acts go abroad to take advantage of festival season. Either way, the cycle is just starting, as much as it ever stopped.
From the PR wire:
RED FANG Announce US Tour With Torche; Music Featured on PBR Can Crusher Pinball Machine
In addition to their recently-announced UK/EU dates this coming fall, Portland hard rockers RED FANG have announced a new US tour with labelmates Torche set to kick off this November. The trek will see the bands touring from coast to coast in support of their signature brands of stoner metal for a full month. Noise rockers Whores will also support; tickets will be on sale this Friday at 10 AM PST. Check out a full itinerary of dates below.
After three years of vigorously touring the world, RED FANG, the beer-loving Portland-based rock band re-emerge with their greatest and latest full-length album, Only Ghosts. Produced by the legendary Ross Robinson (At The Drive In, The Cure, Slipknot, and many more) and mixed by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Melvins), Only Ghosts consists of 10 new tracks of the band’s signature, high-impact, hook-filled, hard rock. RED FANG prove once again they are top-notch songwriters who have mastered the heavy anthem without taking themselves too seriously. Only Ghosts is a rock album of incredible magnitude that demands to be played at maximum volume!
Only Ghosts is set for release this October 14 on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical pre-orders are available via Relapse.com here, and digital pre-orders can be found at the band’s Bandcamp page at this location.
RED FANG Live: Aug 4 Copenhagen, DK Jr Vega Aug 5 Wacken, DE Wacken Open Air Aug 6 Utrecht, NL Tivoli Pandora Aug 7 Lokeren, BE Lokerse Feesten
Aug 17 Tacoma, WA Jazzbones Aug 18 Walla Walla, WA Main Street Studios Aug 19 Missoula, MT The Palace Lounge Aug 21 Spokane, WA All Age Rage @ The Viking Sept 22 Portland, OR Northwest Hesh Fest
**All Dates from Nov 18 – Dec 16 with Torche and Whores*** Nov 18 San Francisco, CA Slims Nov 19 Pomona, CA Glasshouse Nov 20 Los Angeles, CA Terragram Ballroom Nov 22 San Diego, CA Casbah Nov 23 Phoenix, AZ Rebel Lounge Nov 25 Austin, TX Mohawk Nov 26 Dallas, TX Three Links Nov 27 Houston, TX Warehouse Studio Nov 29 Atlanta, GA Masquerade (Hell) Nov 30 Durham, NC Motorco Dec 1 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel Dec 2 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts Dec 4 Boston, MA The Sinclair Dec 5 New York, NY Mercury Lounge Dec 7 Pittsburgh, PA Spirit Lounge Dec 8 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom Dec 9 Detroit, MI El Club Dec 10 Chicago, IL Metro Dec 11 Bloomington, IL Castle Theater Dec 13 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater Dec 14 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge Dec 15 Boise, ID Nuerolox Dec 16 Seattle, WA Showbox
***All Dates with Torche*** Sept 26 Brighton, UK Concorde 2 Sept 27 London, UK Koko Sept 28 Bristol, UK Bierkeller Sept 29 Leeds, UK Leeds Stylus Sept 30 Manchester, UK Manchester Academy 2 Oct 2 Birmingham, UK Institute2 Oct 3 Glasgow, UK Garage Oct 4 Newcastle, UK Riverside Oct 5 Southampton, UK Engine Rooms Oct 7 Athens, Greece Desert Fest Oct 9 Paris, FR Trabendo Oct 10 Munich, DE Strom Oct 11 Vienna, AT Szene Wien Oct 12 Berlin, DE Huxleys Oct 13 Cologne, DE Essigfabrik Oct 14 Antwerp, BE Desertfest Oct 15 Leipzig, DE Conne Island Oct 16 Hamburg, DE Markthalle Oct 18 Odense, DK Posten Oct 19 Oslo, NO John Dee Oct 20 Stockholm, SE Debaser Medis Oct 21 Malmo, SE KB Oct 22 Munster, DE Skater’s Place Oct 23 Karlsruhe, DE Substage Oct 24 Amsterdam, NL Melkweg (OZ)
The band has also premiered the first in a multi-part series of behind-the-scenes webisodes documenting their studio sessions for Only Ghosts. The clip, which can be seen here or below, focuses on John Sherman and the drum tracks for the new album.
Additionally, RED FANG’s music and likeness are featured on Pabst Blue Ribbon’s new pinball machine, the Can Crusher, which was unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con. The machine, developed in partnership with Stern Pinball, Inc., features a retro game design with art by Dirty Donny.
RED FANG is: John Sherman – Drums Aaron Beam – Bass, Vocals David Sullivan – Guitar Maurice Bryan Giles – Guitar, Vocals
Forerunners of Portland’s heavy rock scene Red Fang have set an October 14 official release date for their new album, Only Ghosts, through Relapse Records. Their fourth long-player, Only Ghosts follows 2013’s Whales and Leeches (discussed here), and in addition to just being a new full-length from Red Fang — which would already make it noteworthy — the latest outing earns further distinction via the Ross Robinson production job, which one can hear in the opening track “Flies,” streaming now.
Red Fang, of course, will tour the living crap out of Only Ghosts, starting in Europe around the release and presumably covering the rest of the universe from there.
Just off the PR wire:
RED FANG Announce New Ross Robinson-Produced Album ‘Only Ghosts,’ Share New Song + Pre-Orders
After three years of vigorously touring the world, RED FANG, the beer-loving Portland-based rock band whose new album was included in Rolling Stone’s list most anticipated 2016 releases, re-emerge with their greatest and latest full-length album, Only Ghosts. Produced by the legendary Ross Robinson (At The Drive In, The Cure, Slipknot, and many more) and mixed by Joe Baressi (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Melvins), Only Ghosts consists of 10 new tracks of the band’s signature, high-impact, hook-filled, hard rock. RED FANG prove once again they are top-notch songwriters who have mastered the heavy anthem without taking themselves too seriously. Only Ghosts is a rock album of incredible magnitude that demands to be played at maximum volume!
Only Ghosts was recorded earlier this year at Robinson’s Venice, Calif. studio. In a recent Revolver Magazine interview, bass player Aaron Beam joked that the experience of working beachside was “pretty miserable,” later adding that working with Ross encouraged the band to take a different approach to recording. “He really digs into the meaning behind the songs so that when you’re recording, you’re doing it with conviction and purpose. It’s less about the little technical things. He’s more concerned with getting a performance and focusing on what you’re trying to give the world by making this music in the first place.” The band’s Bryan Giles and Aaron Beam also added,
Working with Ross and Joe [Baressi] on this record was a huge leap forward for us. The process was very challenging and rewarding, and I think we’re a better band for it. This album expresses exactly where we’re at. We’re super proud of it and can’t wait for people to hear it!
Only Ghosts is set for release this October 14 on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical pre-orders are available via Relapse.com here, and digital pre-orders can be found at the band’s Bandcamp page at this location.
Only Ghosts tracklisting:
1. Flies 2. Cut It Short 3. Flames 4. No Air 5. Shadows 6. Not For You 7. The Smell of the Sound 8. The Deep 9. I Am a Ghost 10. Living in Lye
The band will be heading overseas for festival appearances and a headlining tour with Torche in September/October – view a full itinerary below. North American tour dates will be announced soon.
RED FANG Live: August 4 Copenhagen, Denmark Jr Vega August 5 Wacken, DE Wacken Open Air August 6 Utrecht, Netherlands Tivoli Pandora August 7 Lokeren, Belgium Lokerse Feesten September 22 Portland, OR Northwest Hesh Fest
* Dates below with Torche * September 26 Brighton, UK Concorde 2 September 27 London, UK Koko September 28 Bristol, UK Bierkeller September 29 Leeds, UK Leeds Stylus September 30 Manchester, UK Manchester Academy 2 October 2 Birmingham, UK Institute2 October 3 Glasgow, UK Garage October 4 Newcastle, UK Riverside October 5 Southampton, UK Engine Rooms October 7 Athens, Greece Desert Fest October 9 Paris, France Trabendo October 10 Munich, Germany Strom October 11 Vienna, Austria Szene Wien October 12 Berlin, Germany Huxleys October 13 Cologne, Germany Essigfabrik October 15 Leipzig, Germany Conne Island October 16 Hamburg, Germany Markethalle October 18 Odense, Denmark Posten October 19 Oslo, Norway John Dee October 20 Stockholm, Sweden Debaser Medis October 21 Malmo, Sweden KB October 22 Munster, Germany Skater’s Place October 23 Karlsruhe, Germany Substage October 24 Amsterdam, Netherlands Melkweg (OZ)