Mayhem Festival's Earlybird Special: Beerbarians Red Fang

At first glance, the lineup for the 2011 Rockstar Mayhem Festival appears to provide exactly what is expected. The day-long nü-metal smorgasbord hits Cruzan Amphitheatre August 14 featuring two of the biggest names in bro-bounce, Godsmack and Disturbed, as well as Megadeth.

Upon closer inspection, however, Portland act Red Fang sticks out in this grouping (in a good way) almost as much as Busta Rhymes does on the Gathering of the Juggalos roster. There is now a reason to arrive at the Jägermeister stage at the ungodly hour of 2:35 p.m. on a

blazing Sunday in August, as opposed to drinking in the parking lot

until In Flames plays.

These bearded champions of beer have received some very well-deserved attention for their latest record, Murder In the Mountains, and embarked on a European tour prior to the Mayhem dates. Where things start to deviate from the typical act on this tour, though, is these guys have inspired a throng of animated fans, literally, and were featured on Adult Swim's Metal Swim.

The record, available now from Relapse, is a clear departure from the predictability of what the rest of the festival has to offer. It has a gritty, grimy sound with a twang of southern-rock riffage. The vocals swap from gutty bellows to haunting melodies reminiscent of Alice In Chains. Think of a sloppy-drunk Queens of the Stone Age that has just reached level 15 in a game of Wizard's Staff. This is a record to grow a beard to, one that would rival the likes of any master of the arcane.

This photo should further illustrate the magnificence of our heroes:

Featured below is the music video for "Wires," featuring appearances from Brian Posehn, Mastodon's Bill Kelliher, PBR's, and 80 gallons of milk:

When asked if the early arrival should be made, the only adequate

response is "WORTH IT!" Assemble your band of champions, power-level to

max and roll d20 vs. rage while wielding your mightiest staff.

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Ryan Burk