Hooded Fang’s discography thus far is at odds with itself: While the Toronto indie outfit’s 2010 debut full-length, Album, was a bright, upbeat collection of baroque pop tunes, last year’s Tosta Mista was a scrappy, break-up-inspired sophomore effort that swapped playful instrumentation for droning, lo-fi fuzz.
From Gravez’s opening notes, it’s apparent that the band’s latest release—though rich with memorable melodies and strong, ’60s-sounding songwriting—takes after the latter and less lauded of the band’s two albums. With its share of wrong notes and slightly out-of-tune guitars, Gravez feels more like an unpolished demo tape than a finished product. Sure, the album might’ve benefitted from the chance to evolve and develop a bit more, but the rushed sound gives it a frantic, raw feel that reflects its darker overall mood and gives its tracks edge and urgency.
The frenetic vibe jibes perfectly with the psychedelic and surf-tinged “Ode to Subterrania,” the story of a restless basement dweller—at least, that’s what it seems to be about from what you can decipher of frontman Daniel Lee’s resonant mumbles, moans, and croaks. You can’t always tell what he’s saying, but you get the sense he’s generally not too pleased about it.
If Album was a love-struck summer soundtrack and Tosta Mista a disingenuously joyous break-up album, Gravez is the drunken aftermath.
Luc Rinaldi, thegrid.to
buy the album here: http://www.fulltimehobby.co.uk/main/