HOODED FANG: Tosta Mista

hooded fang

Daps

Almost a year to the day, multi-membered popsters Hooded Fang have dropped their follow-up album. It’s a good one and bound to win them new fans, since the debut album’s too cool for the crew’s title Album, guaranteed it wouldn’t do much standing out.

As a result, not as many people heard that collection of catchy and clever pop confections as should have. So here’s the Fangers chance to do it all over again and they have.

A little deeper this time, nods and snarls to the dark side of romance, most notably “Clap”, but overall the loose, jammy vibe is intact, enabling them to deal with some tricky subject matter and keep smiling

Big ups for the 180 turn on the cover art, going from retro-minimalist lettering on the debut to imagistic Lucha Libre masks rendered in vivid detailing but still staying within the cartoonish parameters set by the debut cover.
The musical style has undergone significant revision. It sounds like it was recorded on vintage lo-fi equipment with a raw and organic feel and a distinctly surf guitar undertow.

The album moves out at a brisk pace, clocking in at a sizzling22 minutes and change, packing seven songs and the “Big Blue” series of instrumental interludes. The danger therefore and it does come down in places, is that songs bleed into each other but the ‘Big Blue’ interludes serve as breathing spaces and sets up nicely for the next sonic blast.

Since this album was conceived as a sprint, it makes absolute sense that the first half blazes brightest with the run of “Clap,” “ESP,” “Brahma” and “Tosta Mista”. By the time we each ‘Den Of Love’ condidering what’s gone before, it sounds almost like chill time.
Primary songwriter Daniel Lee has made large strides in his writing, managing to pack wit, self-awareness and challenge into songs of extreme brevity and that’s no small thing.

Overall, Tosta Mista is a strong followup from a band confident enough in its sound to mess around with it. Oh yeah, that ‘cute’ thing they got known for last year? Not so much this time around but the kids are still all right. And getting righter.
Hooded Fang play The Lower Ossington Theatre, Toronto as part of SummerWorks Festival tonight (Fri.August 5).

James Lizzard