Johannesburg, South Africa: the newest record label on the block, Mongrel Records, aims to bear “fangs” far and wide with African-made alternative content.
Right off the bat, Mongrel Records announced itself in 2020 with the signing of Pretoria’s Ruff Majik; much beloved for its bizarre blend of doom/sludge-n-roll tendencies and growing international footprint.
Fangs: a collection of African alternative rock and metal
The label is moving swiftly by also releasing the Fangs compilation album; a wall-to-wall collection of African rock, metal and alternative talent. Whilst most artists featured are from South Africa, Mongrel Records has cast its nets wide to include Togo’s Arka’n.
The tasty track listing appears below, with descriptions for each item eloquently worded by Mongrel Records:
- Ruff Majik ‘All You Need Is Speed’ – Pretoria’s Ruff Majik take us on a two-minute trip through the desert at high octane stoner speed with plenty of groove and heavy fury. Their motto is “speed, weed, and everything that bleeds”, and it’s all on show here (plus more).
- Peasant ‘Destined To Dirt’ – Peasant hail from Cape Town, and mash up metallic hardcore and thrashing punk with a serious set of balls. ‘Destined To Dirt’ is an adrenaline-pumped fist to the face that will leave you reeling and looking for more.
- The Drift ‘Funeral Man’ – Groove-laden death metal laced with melodic progressive leanings is the murky swamp that The Drift calls home, and one that they have come to dominate. ‘Funeral Man’ is a highlight from their Seer album, one of the finest South African extreme albums ever released.
- Sunken State ‘This Is The End’ – Do you fancy tight, brutal groove metal with extreme vocals, emotional choruses, and huge breakdowns? If so, Gauteng’s Sunken State will rip your head clean off with this track from their upcoming album, which promises to be a mean sonofabitch.
- Hokum ‘Tonight Is Your Night’ – Hokum is a 3-piece progressive rock band with distortion-heavy riffs and a ballsy, hungry need to explore the cosmos. ‘Tonight Is Your Night’ is a mind-expanding burst from their bold forthcoming album, Human Sex Equation.
- Savage Lucy ‘Vagabond’ – ‘Vagabond’ is an expansive modern instrumental prog rock showpiece with a riffing backbone, soaring leads, and otherworldly delights. Savage Lucy is set to boldly claim the SA progressive music throne with talent like this!
- Deity’s Muse ‘Erra’ – Wayne Boucher and the other ne’er-do-well scamps in Deity’s Muse are legendary in the South African scene and have been pushing their boundaries in a more-defined melodic prog direction over the past couple of years. ‘Erra’ is a highlight from their astonishing upcoming Ennui EP.
- Arka’n Asrafokor ‘Tears Of The Dead’ – Togo’s Arka’n Asrafokor play afro-tribal metal that draws inspiration from African tradition and wisdom. This is extreme music as you’ve never heard it before, and it will mesmerize thoroughly as it throws you headfirst into the mosh pit.
- Goar Throne ‘American Appetite’ – If you have ever wondered what a jam session with Electric Wizard and Queens Of The Stone Age would sound like, look no further. Johannesburg’s Goat Throne put their foot to the stoner doom pedal on this monolithic track from Blood For The Blood Goat, and it swings HARD.
- Hellcats ‘Wish You Were Dead’ – It’s not easy to carry the weight of filthy rock & roll with a two-piece band, but Hellcats proved that it was not only possible, but downright optimal with their The Hex And The Healer album. ‘Wish You Were Dead’ is a nut-cracking beast from that record.
- Apocalypse Later ‘Hyena’ – Grunge outlived the overwhelming hype of the 90’s and has spawned many new talents since. Gauteng’s Apocalypse Later gives us a dirty Beatles-meets-Nirvana example of their huge talent with ‘Hyena’ from their upcoming EP.
- Truth And Its Burden ‘Surfacing’ – Truth And Its Burden have been spreading their melodic/positive hardcore for over a decade, and the impact of songs like ‘Surfacing’ is just as impressive as ever. Uplifting, expressive, and chock-full of emotion, it’s a track that will kick your ass and give you a hug afterwards.
- Boargazm ‘Epsilon’ – Intergalactic space metal as made by hogs from Pretoria, anyone? Boargazm have you totally covered with ‘Epsilon’, a groovy thrash with meticulous viciousness from their upcoming EP, Armagammon.
- Rhakshah ‘Torpor’ – Picture Lamb Of God with extreme elements, melodic guitars, and atmospheric passages, and you’re about halfway to understanding the impressive power that is Rhakshah. Enthralling metal with a brain never sounded so damn good.