Album Review: American Fangs – Legs

Album Review: American Fangs – Legs

In the current musical landscape, bands no longer tour simply to promote a new album, live shows are often a band’s bread and butter and Texan five piece American Fangs are testament to this. They are well known for kicking up quite a storm on stage, as seen recently at Download, and in Gabriel Cavazos they have a genuinely charismatic rock vocalist, with rasp as well as range, and a frenzied style of attacking guitars and furious drumming that gives them an edge that flirts with hardcore whilst also maintaining a sense of melody. It’s interesting then, that ‘Dirty Legs’ seems to have been made very much with the live environment in mind; rather than for the album experience. As such, it’s something of a mixed bag but there is more than enough on display to warrant the price of a ticket next time round.

‘Slavery Wedding’ kicks things off with an ear worm that burrows into your skull in two and a half minutes of frenetic mosh soundtrack, setting the standard for what to expect from the rest of the album. Short slices of hard rocking tunes that will rock a crowd into a sweat. ‘Death of Me’ follows in equally repetitive style and despite the references to bitches, niggaz (sic), addicts and whores, also works well.

‘Counting Wolves’ has a more contemporary sound and is an interestingly melodic slice of punky pop; there’s some good time changes and neat little breaks crammed into the two and a half minutes; good tune. The punkiness continues on ‘Say What!’ but it’s pretty one dimensional, though would no doubt work live.

Gabe is a versatile vocalist and AF have a good solid rhythm section that allows the guitars of Kenyon Puntenney and Chris Goodwin to interact and experiment, they are definitely not a one trick pony, but the middle few tracks lack convincing hooks to really be of interest, and have more than a hint of filler about them. ‘Bukkake Summer’, a straight ahead repetitive rocker, is particularly bland and would have been best left in the rehearsal room.

‘Brazilian Axe’ on the other hand is a hard driving rocky little number with a catchy chorus and just seems much more accomplished, as does ‘We Stand Apart’, which again highlights the vocal versatility and the band’s ear for a good dynamic tune. When they get it right they are well worth getting into and album closer, ‘You’ve Got Future Written All Over Your Future’ rounds things off on a high, delivering one last heavy rocking punch as they pull out all their musical stops to good effect.

Although this is fairly disposable listening fare, it has enough to show American Fangs as an exciting band with a hard edge that are probably well worth seeing live. It is interesting to be able to hear that live dimension within the album dynamic, showcasing their talent in short sharp hook driven rockers, and I’m sure a lot of other bands will follow suit, as they put ever more importance onto the live experience.

3/5

‘Legs’ by American Fangs is out now on Best Before Records.

American Fangs links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)