By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Over the course of more than a decade, Portland, OR-based quartet Red Fang has established itself to be one of the most talented, hard-working bands in heavy rock. Since first coming into wider recognition with the release of their eponymous Sergeant House Records debut in 2009 — and the viral Dungeons-and-Dragons inspired video for “Prehistoric Dog” that featured the beer-shotgunning band clad in 12-pack armor battling wizards (it’s been viewed over four million times on YouTube) — Red Fang has earned a sizable international fan base with its relentless touring schedule.
The band’s subsequent albums — 2011’s Murder the Mountains, the band’s first for noted metal imprint Relapse Records, and the follow-up effort Whales and Leeches in 2013 — further solidified the quartet’s reputation, though their continued partnership with “Prehistoric Dog” video director Whitey McConnaughy on a run of hilarious clips didn’t hurt. The recordings showed the band refining their compelling mix of sledgehammer riffs and hook-laden tag-team vocals of bassist Aaron Beam and guitarist Bryan Giles (second guitarist David Sullivan and drummer John Sherman round out the band).
In 2015, the group convened to record outside of Portland for the first time, traveling to Ventura in Southern California to work with renowned producer Ross Robinson — who has helped track albums for everyone from Korn, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot to At The Drive In, Sepultura and the Cure. The resulting album Only Ghosts came out the following year and found Red Fang pushing it’s sound in experimental new directions while still pounding out the band’s signature blend of heavy riffs and indelible melodies.
Red Fang has yet to make any announcement on plans for their next album, this past summer the group was one of the featured bands at the annual metal bacchanal Psycho Las Vegas and issued a stunning cover of the Tubeway Army classic “Listen to the Sirens” as a digital single that showed off yet another side to the band. This week, the popular group returns to San Francisco to play the Chapel Thursday as part of an arranged 50th birthday party for an old friend of the band to kick off a tour of the western U.S.. Red Fang is joined by touring partners Telekinetic Yeti, a like-minded stoner doom duo from Iowa who released their first effort Abominable on Sump Pump Records last year.
Opening act Frisco is the latest band project of a local crew of punk and metal veterans including singer Bob McDonald and guitarist Andy Oglesby of sadly defunct SF post-punk outfit Hank IV, ex-Acid King/Altamont drummer Joey Osbourne and former Lost Goat guitarist Eric Peterson. The outfit will put out it’s first salvo of knotty, aggressive noise-punk on the forthcoming Valley King Records debut Love Songs for Phantom Limbs early next year.
Red Fang with Telekinetic Yeti and Frisco
Thursday, Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m. $27-$30