Red Fang adopted a more stripped down, primal approach on its third album, Whales and Leeches, which singer/guitarist Bryan Giles described as "a meat and potatoes recording."

Red Fang adopted a more stripped down, primal approach on its third album, Whales and Leeches, which singer/guitarist Bryan Giles described as "a meat and potatoes recording."

"These songs are definitely a little more to the point," said Giles, who joins bandmates Aaron Beam (vocals/bass), David Sullivan (guitar) and John Sherman (drums) for a concert at Ace of Cups on Thursday, Oct. 8. "Listening to old recordings of other bands I was in, I found we had a kitchen sink philosophy where it was like, 'Oh, that riff is cool. Now how about this one? And this one.' Then you keep them all in there and the song has 12 parts and just ends up being confusing. For this band we just try to keep it simple, stupid."

Simple doesn't mean static, however, and songs veer from racing numbers like "Crows in Swine," which builds around a churning riff that mimics the sound of a leather-clad motorcycle gang gunning down the highway, to slower, sludgier numbers like "Failure," a coal-black cut that oozes through the speakers like so much crude oil.

Dark themes dominate throughout, with dual singers Giles and Beam growling about bloodthirsty vampires (an apt presence considering the group's name) and more tangible, true-to-life demons like substance abuse and alcohol addiction. "Lost for time/ Soaked in brine," the narrator howls on "Crows in Swine," surrounded by scattered empty bottles.

"I definitely drank more than my share of beer - probably to the detriment of my health - and it's not the easiest thing for me to put down the bottle … so I can empathize with the person going through addiction," said Giles, 43, who first picked up a guitar at 13 after his older brother introduced him to albums like Van Halen's Fair Warning and ZZ Top's Eliminator. "We're pretty happy-go-lucky people, but … releasing that darkness is pretty cathartic. Then I can go about my day and make jokes."

This loose, take-life-as-it-comes vibe has even carried over into initial writing sessions for Red Fang's next album, which it hopes to begin recording early in 2016 with an eye on a late summer/early fall release.

"We're not on a time crunch, so right now we're just archiving all these riffs," Giles said. "Sometimes I get overwhelmed because I open up our recordings in the computer I'll be weeding through at least 100 songs ideas. We're at a point now where we probably have enough raw material for three new albums, so it's just a matter of picking the ones we like and really focusing in on them."