Portland stoner metal band Red Fang has been on the cusp of stardom ever since the second of their four albums, Murder the Mountains (2011), reached number 25 on the U.S. Top Heatseekers chart, landing them on high-profile multiband bills like Metalliance (with Helmet and Crowbar), the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival (alongside Megadeth and Godsmack), and the Australian Soundwave Festival. Things really started popping after their January 2014 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, where musical director Paul Shaffer sat in with the band for “Blood Like Cream,” but they still only managed to get their Whales and Leeches album up to number 66 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Last year’s Only Ghosts full-length peaked at number 143, without even a single to promote it.
At least they’ve been able to keep their leather-gloved hands in the game on the road, where their comedic Spinal Tappish hard rock has found favor as openers for huge mainstream acts who genuinely seem to “get” the joke, including Opeth (who must have a likeminded sense of humor, having titled their album My Arms, Your Hearse after a lyric by frequently hysterical freak-folk acid rockers Comus) and Swedish melodic death metallers In Flames (whose Jester Head mascot isn’t as funny as their Duck Dynasty beards).