Review: Hooded Fang – Gravez
Published on June 9th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Gravez, the third album from Toronto odd-rockers Hooded Fang, is an altogether messier proposition than its relatively poppy 2011 predecessor Tosta Mista. This kind of inverse maturation can be thrilling in the right hands, specifically those which make it all sound somehow ‘natural’, so it’s handy that Gravez sounds deliriously unhinged enough to give the impression that it could only have stemmed from fevered bouts of inspiration in its pure, elemental form.
“Pixies meets The La’s meets the Ramones? Something like that. Curiosity well and truly piqued” – that’s what Rocksucker had to say about the stomping power pop of pseudo title track “Graves” in a recent singles round-up, but this apparent marker turns out to be at least a little bit of a red herring. Next up is the weird tooting shuffle of “Ode to Subterrania”, which sounds a wee bit like Austin Powers tripping out to Silver Apples, Daniel Lee’s stoned, mumbly vocal delivery emphasising the contrast between these opening tracks and paving the way for Lee’s even trashier, more slurred turn on “Bye Bye Land”, a sort of “Swamp Song” by Blur as reimagined by Pixies circa Bossanova.
The murkiness of the production starts to get a little overbearing but there’s still an edgy sort of energy – not least on the twisted, darkside boogie of “Wasteland” and “Sailor Bull”, and the commanding speak-singing and ace bopping chorus of “Genes” – that bodes well. On Gravez, Hooded Fang succeed in sounding as if they’ve been beamed in from another universe entirely, leaving the residual notion that this could be helped along still further by less of a ‘modern identikit’ production style on album number four. All the same, good work.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!
Gravez is out now on Full Time Hobby.