Portland's grimy sludge shredders Red Fang, whose 2009 self-titled debut is literally superglued into my subconscious, has announced that they've signed with metal monolith imprint Relapse Records. This makes them, along with Rabbits (post below), the latest scouted entities in our cozy metal metropolis. Is this the beginning of a major label-lead Hessian-rock headlock descending onto our sleepy stoner metal scene? If so, it's well-deserved, even if Relapse is still relatively underground. Few, if any, local bands have put as much spirit and dedication into their outfits as this reporter's seen in the local metal scene.
Plus, I don't know if anyone's really arguing that Red Fang is probably the best heavy band in Portland. Anyone lucky enough to have attended the Fourth of July outdoor show at East End can attest to the majesty of Red Fang's "Prehistoric Dog." And what's more, the band has just finished recording for their Relapse debut with producer Chris Funk of the Decemberists. The yet-untitled-album was mixed by Vance Powell (The Raconteurs) and will see an early 2011 international release date. The band had this to say about their recent signing:
“We are f'ing stokedto sign a deal with RELAPSE. We had a great time recording with Chris Funk, mixing was finished back in February / March and now we are ready for it to hit the streets. We're still brainstorming a title for the unnamed beast. ...and holy shit, get ready for new videos!”
As for older videos, check this gem out for "Prehistoric Dog," set in the band's kitchen in a Southeast location this reporter would be remiss if he didn't confess to having spent many drunken nights within.
In addition to all this madness, Red Fang are about to embark on a three-week US tour next month alongside Valient Thorr. The band will join up with the tour starting October 7 in Seattle, WA. A free digital tour sampler is now available at this location along with a chance to win tickets.
- Ryan J. Prado
- Photo Courtesy of Relapse Records and Whitey McConnaughey
While listening to AStranger at the Wheel, the first album released by Portland singer/songwriter Christopher Reyne, the composer's drive is apparent. The ten song album has an emotional, musical and stylistic range that is ambitious and satisfying. Kicking the album off with “The Notorious Kelly Monroe”, a catchy pop-esk hook and complex musical textures pair with Reyne's melodic voice to make it clear that this performer is dedicated to entertaining his listeners. Dedicated may be the perfect word to describe Reynes. The entire project has been in his hands, from the writing and performing to the recording and mixing. Literally every vocal track and instrument on the album you here is Reynes himself, save the drums that were added by a friend after all the songs were finished. As the album unfolds, the lyrics remain story-driven and vulnerable, the arrangements are thoughtful and interesting, and it is clear that Stranger at the Wheel captures what Christopher Reynes is: a driven entertainer and talented musician. - Joy Pearson