Daps - 2013
Hooded Fang have come quite a ways since their 2008 debut EP, with their earlier brand of twee pop having long since given way to something more akin to that classic American mid-sixties sound, as on 2011's fine Tosta Mista. On their third LP, the evolution feels almost complete. Where Tosta Mista updated the ghosts of the Turtles and their syrupy melodies, Gravez finds the Toronto septet hovering a lot closer to the late seventies and those less subtle, kick-in-the-groin energies of punk and new wave.
The rawness will come as no surprise to those familiar with the band's various side projects like Hut or Phedre, or especially the feverish garage-surf of Tonka and Puma. Singer/guitarist Daniel Lee alluded to this in an interview at on-line mag Bowlegs. The punk/DIY sound was "just what we felt like doing this time around," he said. "We have other projects that are more dirty sounding than this. Maybe that is crossing over into Hooded Fang as well." That grit kicks off right off the bat with the excellent quasi-titular 'Graves', a manic guitar/bass sing-along, and continues with tracks like the throbbing 'Wasteland' and the quirkier 'Ode to Suburbia', where Lee croons a lusty, and quite convincing, Ian McCulloch. Though Gravez at times seems in need of some spit and polish, I am guessing that it is probably that rougher-hewn quality that will reel in all the indie kids. And with Patrick Kyle's colourful cover art, you will definitely want to pick this one up on vinyl.
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