They're a young band, but it's already an iron rule: to invoke Hooded Fang is also to employ the word “chipper” in reference. I'm guilty of it, too. Guilty again today. And Hooded Fang's live show — a joyous riot that usually finds the co-ed Toronto septet cavorting energetically like a kind of DayGlo Arcade Fire — definitely verges in that direction, as does the artwork to their debut LP, Album, which screams at you cheerfully like an Honest Ed's poster precisely because the band got Ed's sign painter Dougie Kerr to paint it. For all their “ba-ba-bahs” and Glockenspiel parts, though, the songs, sung in a doleful baritone by Daniel Lee on Album tend to be a little morose, uncertain and lost, masking their true, troubled emotions with sunny melodies, crisp boy/girl harmonies and, on the lingering “Green River,” whistling. That puts Hooded Fang in the company of such fellow bright-hued pop subversives as Belle & Sebastian, the Magnetic Fields and the Jesus and Mary Chain. And Hooded Fang are increasingly worthy of that company. AlbumThese songs have a lot to offer and they give it up much slower than expected, and that's saying nothing about the three-dimensionality displayed by turns like the dour rockabilly closer, “Love Song.” Top Track: “Highway Steam.” “I know, I know that the highway steam runs through our veins at the brink of reason” is an unlikely mouthful to get stuck in your head, but it does.
Ben Rayner, Toronto Star