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Friday, 24 February 2012

Record Review - Hooded Fang

Tosta Mista
Full Time Hobby CD

The excellent Full Time Hobby’s latest signings from Toronto trade a fine line in lo-fi reverb heavy garage indie-pop. It’s a pretty quirky 23 minutes. The album is essentially one rhythm track, but one mustn’t complain when that rhythm is so infectious. I don’t recall hearing one so affecting since the first Stroke album. High praise indeed. The singer sounds a little Stephen Malkmus-esque in places. Strong songs dot the album: detuned guitars on opener ‘Clap’ sits well with the biting lyrics to create a wonderfully woozy start. ‘ESP’ has wonderful squelchy guitars and is the most ‘60s thing on here (and not a million miles away from Horror Asparagus Stories), ‘Jubb’ is quite early Nirvana-esque with its grungey pop sensibility. If the word Weezer appears in this blog you won’t be scared I hope. Because it just did. ‘Vacationation’ thunders along in a mix of girl group/Phil Spector mannerisms, with a melody to recall The Ramones in their prime. And ‘Den Of Love’ starts off as an Elvis-style torch song, before a huge chorus of ‘whoahs’ send us into (fellow Canadians) Arcade Fire territory. It sounds like it was recorded in a cave, which I know infuriates certain record listeners, but on the big finale track we can forgive them, as it adds to the windswept vibe.

Its strange to think music this gloriously upbeat is actually mostly concerned about the break up of Daniel (guitar/vocals) and April (bass). Fans of Thee Oh Sees and Black Lips will heartily enjoy Tosta Mista. A band to keep an eye out for sure.

Phil Istine

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