Fangs Vol.I – Mongrel Records Compilation

Fangs Vol.I – Mongrel Records Compilation

Fangs Vol.I – Mongrel Records Compilation

By / Reviews / Friday, 22 May 2020 09:00

The record label in many respects has become antiquated relics in an era that seems hell-bent on eliminating them altogether. As artist move from FM radio to internet radio, and from commercial studios to bedrooms, the monopoly labels held on an artist's viability in the music industry has taken quite a hit. There is, however, still a place for them and the resources they can offer individual artists and even entire music scenes. Enter Mongrel Records, a rock and metal music-centric label imprint led by music industry veteran Warren Gibson. Under Gibson's stewardship, the label has released the compilation Fangs Vol. 1 to showcase their cache of heavy-hitting underground rock and metal groups.

It’s been a long-time dream of mine to have a label that can give the heavier South African and African bands the help and attention they need and deserve.Warren Gibson

Mongrel Records embraces the raw, the unapologetically authentic, the heavy, and unabashed ferocity of extreme music so it makes sense that a compilation featuring their fresh line-up would reflect that. Each track reaches for segments of extreme music that best represents the diversity and tenacity of the South African music scene, Gibson knows so well. Being a compilation album, there is no foundation that ties one track to another other than heavy, pedal to the metal music that this label seeks to showcase.

At fourteen tracks, there certainly is a lot of meat on the plate. Straight-forward rock & roll duo Hellcats make an appearance with a bluesy yet bombastic 'Wish You Were Dead'. Ruff Majik were among the label's first acquisitions and in that vain were tasked with opening the album with their patented psycho-sludge riffs, hair raising vocals, frantic drums, and unvarnished delivery. Not to be left out, 'Apocalypse Later' tags along with a punky number that itself is as uncompromising as the two aforementioned tracks.

Fangs feature a little more refined and a tad bit more controlled cuts from the likes of instrumental prog-metal outfit Savage Lucy (Track 6 'Vagabond'), and melodic power trio Deity's Muse (Track 7 'Erra'). 'Arka'n Asrafokor' adds a distinct flavour to the mix as their music is deeply rooted in African tradition combining standard metal with percussion stemming from the bands tribal West African influences.

With the experience, and leadership of Warren Gibson coupled with the resources of South African indie-music company Just Music, the future of the African continent's underground music scene is bright. Mongrel has amassed a formidable cache of music from a diverse line-up of bands with seemingly limitless potential that can reach every corner of the globe. Let's hope this is just a small taste of what's to come...

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Russell Miller

Russell Miller

soundcloud.com/arkayem

Russell Miller is the front-of-house/monitor engineer for Red Gate Sound & contributes reviews and an occasional snarky op-ed here at UNDERGROUND PRESS. If the music has a strong melody, a drive, or ambition chances are that it’ll have my attention. Knowledge. Follow Russell on Twitter and InstagramCheck out his tunes at SoundCloud

 RED GATE SOUND: Our Facebook | Writer/Contributor: Underground Press | Engineer/Producer: Arkayem Productions

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