Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang have made a name for themselves in the past year with their high-energy rock, a well-reviewed 2011 release, ‘Murder The Mountain’ and, perhaps more important in the internet age, a low-budget video featuring the band driving through pallets of beer, television sets, a pinball machine and various other objects selected for their tendency to explode in an entertaining manner when hit by a beaten-up station wagon.

Touring with similarly metal-minded rockers Mastodon, the band had a day free and made a detour to Ottawa for some high volume antics at Mavericks.
Two local bands, Loviatar and Collider filled out the bill. All three bands feature a two-guitar line-up and appear to share a love for metal both classics, such as Black Sabbath and more recent outfits like Kyuss and High on Fire.

Loviatar’s strangled vocals and doom rock riffage did a fine job of warming up the receptive crowd, while Collider knocked their short set out of the park, with preternaturally growly vocals over meaty guitar noise.

A good chunk of Red Fang’s charm comes from their everyday-dudes image, which was cemented by their laidback stage banter. They crunched their way through a hefty chunk of the latest album, sounding a bit like the Melvins crossed with Queens of The Stone Age - indisputably heavy, but also with catchy hooks and an interest in melody.

John Sherman is one of the most punishing drummers around, and shoves the band’s sound, sometimes dubbed “stoner rock” into a speedier zone.

By the time the band was wrapping things up the moshing in front of the stage was reaching a feverish pitch. The only thing left to do to satisfy the sold-out crowd was to promise to return, then finish the night off with a drum kit demolishing (okay, tipping over) encore.

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