Last Thursday, Portland’s Red Fang bought their hard-charging blend of riff-heavy rock and punk catharsis to a sold out crowd at the EARL. Opening the show was Atlanta trio Dead Now, a newish group featuring Derek Schulz (bass) and Bobby Theberge (drums) of Day Old Man, plus Andrew Elstner on guitar. The band delivered a tight, energetic set, with Theberge set up front and center, pounding away on his kit.

Up next were Norfolk, Virginia rockers Demons. Touring behind their late 2017 release Embrace Wolf, the aggressive four-piece definitely have that sludgy metal sound, although they temper it with some flashes of darker punk/post-punk. Two guitar player-vocalists flanked either side of the stage, with their bass player filling in dead center. One of the vocalists had a red old-style phone set up as his mic, which yielded a cool deep sound that added to the band’s thunderous assault.

As for Red Fang, they brought it as usual, murdering the stage with their mammoth riffs and pummeling grooves. These guys are so fun to watch; they always put on an explosive show with plenty of energy. Even with a busted finger, vocalist and bassist Aaron Beam was a force on stage. Their sound is hard-hitting, almost funky, riffed-out stoner metal that gets your head bobbing. If you ever find yourself at a Red Fang show and don’t get caught up in the urge to move and throw your body around, you may want to check your pulse.

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All photos © Copyright 2018 Christina Pradhan ​