As much as we, like so many, are always looking for something uniquely new and ground-breaking to fascinate and ignite the passions, there are undeniably times a masterful fusion of existing designs and textures in one irresistible slab of full on rock ‘n’ roll is just as thrilling. Dirty Legs from US rockers American Fangs is such a riotous treat, an embrace of established and recognisable essences honed with new hooks and inescapable virulence then immersed in high octane energy and dirty intent. The result, one of the most scintillating and ferociously outstanding stomps unleashed this year from a band set to replicate home success and surely stir up hungry appetites around the world.
Hailing from Houston and formed in 2008, the American Fangs sound is described as a blend of post hardcore and alternative rock/metal, flavours certainly erupting within the band’s songs but equally tracks are punk, hard rock, and as uncompromisingly contagious as any form of pop rock. Band and sound swiftly drew attention as a live presence in the US and the UK, American Fangs touring with the likes of Deftones, Papa Roach, Four Year Strong, Sevendust, Hollywood Undead, and Chevelle over the years and making highly praised appearances at festivals such as SXSW, Rock on the Range, Carolina Rebellion, Rocklahoma, Festapalooza Shreveport, and Ship Rocked. Backed by their acclaimed self-titled debut album and their first EP, the quintet has become a greedily followed prospect, if not quite to the same level in Europe as in the US, though Dirty Legs will surely change that with, to follow up a potent performance at this year’s Download, its worldwide uncaging.
Opener Slavery Wedding swiftly sets the tones for the album, its immediate swipes of hefty rhythms and caustic riffs an attention grabbing eruption driven by the dirty scowl of Gabriel Cavazos’ vocals. There is no hiding place as the beats of drummer Micah Miller seem to intensify their assault with every punch and the guitars of Kenyon Puntenney and Chris Goodwin turn more toxic with every riff, chord, and eventually a blaze of seriously seductive grooves. Like a mix of Every Time I Die and Cancer Bats in league with UK band Bite The Shark, the track is primal rock ‘n’ roll turned into an anthemic riot refusing to take no for an answer.
The outstanding start is instantly matched and surpassed by Death of Me, a scuzzy epidemic of insatiable hooks and rhythms within a bruising sonic infection. Cavazos again leads the incendiary confrontation with an ear gripping delivery which is soaked in attitude and enterprise and backed by the equally potent tones of bassist Kyle Shimek. The latter’s string sculpting is just as imaginative and enticing too, offering a grouchy lure throughout but especially exploiting the passages of ‘relaxation’ to unveil the most predatory funk lines you will ever come across. As its predecessor, the song is high on adrenaline and ferocity, taking no prisoners lyrically and in its voracious presence.
Counting Wolves has an even rawer texture and air to its quickly pleasing roar, the song merging the passion and hookery of a Billy Talent with the agitated emotions and fury of a NOFX, then twisting it into American Fang’s own demandingly catchy revelry. Once more band and album is drawing full submission from body and thoughts, though fair to say the excellent song still pales against the might of Say What!, carnivorous rock pop at its best. Everything about the track is ravenously addictive and anthemic, body and soul whilst being tenderised by punishing rhythms inescapably entangled in wiry riffs, clanging hooks, and a blazing vocal roar.
Shimek’s bass begins unveiling new bestial, primeval tones in Leukoplakia next, its dark lure aligning with stalking grooves and barbarous beats as vocals crawl menacingly over the senses. Despite all that intimidation, there is again pure virulent alchemy at work which only incites the listener to dance whilst snarling at the world with the song. If rebellion needs a soundtrack this is it. The breath-taking incitement eventually seeps into the following Black Eyed, though the body is not given any time off here either, the song a kinetic jungle of pungent rhythms courted by spicy and inventive twists within an alternative rock/punk stomp.
Few albums hit an early peak and keep it going across their length without even slight dips but Dirty Legs does, in fact it just gets stronger and more tenacious as it goes as if it is feeding off the reactions and energy of the listener. Bukkake Summer proves the point, a slice of rock ‘n’ roll which takes the rowdy exploits of the previous track and sculpts them into its own punk ‘n’ roll harvest of nagging riffs, growling contagion, and mischievously rousing vocals, all punctuated by sinew loaded rhythms. Imagine a mix of The Ramones, Turbonegro, and The Senton Bombs and you have a hint to another delicious brawl on the album.
Both Brazlian Axe and We Stand Apart keep the thrills and creative spills coming, the first a raunchy blaze of rock ‘n’ roll with tangy hues to guitars and vocals creating around a resonating rhythmic spine whilst its successor is another proposal lock ‘n’ loaded with barbed hooks and intoxicating guitar resourcefulness. With vocals as much a cheerleader to the imagination and virulence of the song as they are a feverish protagonist to the combative strength of the lyrics, the encounter steals top dog honours on Dirty Legs, though only by a shade such the might of all.
Both tracks inflame ears and emotions whilst keeping the album burning creatively and aggressively, each only inspiring thoughts and appetite to crave more before being fed by closing track You’ve Got Future Written All Over Your Future. It is a heavyweight turbo-charged rampage which pretty much sums up the might and inventive craft of the album. As throughout the whole release, there is plenty to recognise and offer possible comparisons to, yet American Fangs simply use all flavours and seeds for their own devilish intent to riveting and incendiary effect.
Quite simply Dirty Legs is rock ‘n’ roll baby and it does not get much better than this!
Dirty Legs is available from July 4th via Best Before Records @ https://www.bestbeforerecords.com/Shop/DownloadDetails?rid=BBR_RE_24 and http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dirty-Legs-Explicit-American-Fangs/dp/B00XUVZ7YA