Published on July 19th, 2013 | by Paige Simon0
Hooded Fang – Gravez
I had mostly written off Hooded Fang as another poppy Canadian indie band — nothing wrong with that, but easy to file under ‘generic.’ However, their 2nd effort, last year’s Tosta Mista changed gears into darker, more lo-fi territory, which gave it some personality. Their latest album, Gravez, seems to be the best of both worlds, utilizing some melodic hooks, but digging deeper into that garage aesthetic that worked well on Tosta Mista. Either way, they’ve been heading in more interesting directions.
Recorded in basements and bedrooms, the production on Gravez adds a lot to the tone; while it is purposely sloppy, the band also manages to retain an oxymoronic ‘loose tightness.’ The instrumentation is all sharp elbows, dissonance jamming you in the side at the show, but with enough ass-wiggling tempo and melody to keep things interesting.
‘Ode to Subterrania’ is one of the strongest tracks on the record, with a jangly psychedelic surfy sound reminiscent of Thee Oh Sees, with singer Daniel Lee crooning in a sardonic and slightly distorted, but playful manner that bodes well for being serious about the song, without having to appear too earnest. He’s not taking himself too seriously, even if the tone of the album is more urgent than their earlier indie pop sound.
Gravez was one of my surprise albums of the year; I think it’s the sound of a band coming into its own. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.