Red Fang. Murder The Mountains.

Heads up, heshers, your favorite new headbangin’ helpin’ of heavy metal is about to drop courtesy of Portland rockers Red Fang. With its sophomore effort, Murder The Mountains, Red Fang bring together elements of late-eighties thrash/metal and classic stoner-rock riffs, filter the sound through a desert-rock haze and finish it with a psych-rock glaze. The result is the band’s own brand of crushing melody that’s sure to light the bong for fans of similarly-minded bands such as Queens of the Stone Age and Mastodon (not to mention Metal Church, Slayer or Monster Magnet).

So if you dig big, heavy riffs that anchor songs with titles like “The Number Thirteen,” “Dirt Wizard” and “Throw Up,” then it’s time to raise your glass and toast to the hope that this mountain-murdering slab of steel gets packaged in a gatefold sleeve ’cause it’s sure to be the next thing you crank to 11 as you seed your weed.

Murder The Mountains is out April 12 via Relapse Records. Check it out here.

The album is streaming in its entirety at the music section of NPR’s website until its release. Check it out here.

And here’s the second track on the album, “Wires”…

Thrill Jockey/Antiopic. Benefit For The Recovery In Japan.

Chicago labels Thrill Jockey and Antiopic, with help from Front Porch Productions and a wealth of talent, are making it easy for music lovers to donate to the relief effort in Japan with the release of Benefit For The Recovery In Japan. This massive, 64-track compilation features almost five hours of music from a vast array of artists from around the globe, many of whom often work from the outer edges of experimental music, and every song here is sure to offer a unique listening experience. Certainly, this compilation is worth far more than its $15 price tag, and 100% of the proceeds go towards the recovery and relief effort in Japan following the March 11 earthquake and resultant tsunami and nuclear emergency.

Artists who contributed to this compilation include Fennesz, School of Seven Bells, Tom Carter (Charalambides), Akron/Family, Ben Frost, Rhys Chatham, Prefuse 73, Growing, Sam Prekop, Giant Sand, William Tyler, Mountains, Parts & Labor, Shinji Masuko (Boredoms/DMBQ), The Ex, Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox, and many others. Proceeds go to the emergency response organization Civic Force, a “Japanese not-for-profit organization that…developed from experiences learned during the Niigata Earthquake of 2004, and was established to provide faster and more effective disaster relief by cooperating closely with NGOs, the business community and government of Japan.” Learn more about Civic Force here.

Benefit For The Recovery In Japan is available now as a digital download. Buy it here and feel good.

Here’s a live version of the William Tyler track that appears on the compilation…

Arbouretum. The Gathering.

Dave Heumann, singer, guitarist, and main songwriter for Arbouretum, has spent time as a backing member of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, and his songs are certainly connected to a similar folk rock sound. But where Will Oldham’s project has, over the years, dug deeper into the American songbook and embraced a country rock attitude, Heumann has looked across the pond for inspiration, and Arbouretum feels more closely tied to the British folk tradition. On Arbouretum’s latest, The Gathering, this penchant for British folk is filtered through overdriven amps and fuzzed out guitars, creating a sort of metal/folk hybrid that comes off like a stoner-rock Fairport Convention. The Gathering is said to be inspired by Carl Jung’s The Red Book and a “narrative of ‘losing one’s way and finding it again'”, and the songs here, both lyrically and musically, reflect the kind of soul-searching such a narrative suggests.

The Gathering is out now via Thrill Jockey Records. Check it out here.

Songs For The Unproduced Teen Comedy “The Fighting Chimeras”–Take Three

“Nightrain”–track three from the only 80s hard rock record to give AC/DC’s Back In Black a run for its rock ‘n’ roll money, the Guns ‘n’ Roses 1987 debut, Appetite For Destruction–rattles the speakers of our heroes’ getaway car as it peels out of the parking lot after they, left with no choice but the obvious, pull off a good ol’ fashioned beer wahoo.


Chance enters the brightly lit store cautiously. DIXIE REDWINE (20s), sexy brunette, stops him at the door.

Not a chance in hell.

How do you –

Forget about it. Not gonna happen.

Not even –

It’s too early, you’re too young and your brother’s a prick.

Chance eyes a t-shirt that hangs on a rack by the counter. Its front displays a picture of an old German man dancing in a pair of suspenders and lederhosen, and features the words: COLD SPRING SAUSAGE FESTIVAL.

How ‘bout a shirt?


Chance gets in and pulls the door shut.


This is not a problem. We’ll just try again somewhere else.

No mas dinero. Spent it all on my new shirt.

Chance leans forward to display the back of his shirt. Under a picture of a giant piece of sausage a caption reads: THE BEST WURST CELEBRATION EVER.



Chance, Rudy and Stoney creep through the beer aisle of a quiet local grocery.

Everybody just grab a twelve-pack and run.

What about the grocery Nazi over there?

He nods to the front of the store. BRANDON HANZ (20s), crew cut clerk, eyes them suspiciously.

I’ll distract him.

Stoney walks to the front of the store, pulling a bag of weed out of his pocket.

Dude, wanna smoke a bowl?

Abspritzen arschlecker!

Right on.

Stoney stops in front of Brandon and holds up the bag of weed.


Brandon reaches out and smacks the bag out of Stoney’s hand.

Dude, not cool at all.

As Stoney reaches down for his weed, Rudy and Chance fly by with a couple of twelve-packs of beer. As they hit the doors, Brandon gives chase.

Stoney, emotionally torn, gives up on retrieving his bag of weed, knocks over a magazine rack to block Brandon’s path and dashes out of the store.

Brandon stumbles over the rack and falls.


Rudy, Chance and Stoney jump into the


Rudy cranks up and REVS the engine.

Brandon stumbles out of the front of the store, shaking his fist as the car SCREECHES away, just in time to hear…



Davila 666. SXSW 2011. Trailer Space.

Davila 666 is a group of six badass Puerto Rican rockers who clearly enjoy the hell out of what they do. And when the band tapped the keg for their relentless garage pop party at Trailer Space on the closing Saturday of SXSW, the crowd was as infected by the members’ swagger-and-shake energy as by the intensity of their hook-filled rock-n-roll. All driving melody and shout-along choruses, these songs get inside you and make you wanna get down and have a great time–which is exactly what their set was. And, once again, music crushes language barriers–I don’t know what these dudes are sayin’, but I sure like the sound of it.

The latest from Davila 666, Tan Bajo, is out now via In The Red. Check it out here.