Hooded Fang - Tosta Mista

Hooded Fang - Tosta Mista
Album Reviews

Despite the album being very short, the retro vibe does become ever so slightly grating.



Released: 12th March 2012
Reviewer: Martyn Young
Sometimes an album comes along that is a complete throwback; the sound is so redolent of an earlier time that you are convinced that it has been exhumed from the past. The full length debut album from Toronto garage rockers Hooded Fang is certainly one of those albums.

Hooded Fang are unashamedly in thrall to the 1960s and the lo-fi good time rock and roll on ‘Tosta Mista’ is a very retrogressive recreation of the 1960s garage rock sound. The first thing that immediately strikes you about the record is its very short running time, the album clocks in at only 23 minutes and that is despite featuring three largely superfluous and aimless 30 second instrumentals. There is much to be said for brevity when it comes to rock and roll, however, and Hooded Fang have certainly mastered the art of the three-minute swinging rocker.

‘Clap’ begins the album at breakneck speed as singer Daniel Lee breathlessly croons his way to the end. ‘Esp’ continues the swinging 60s vibe in similar fashion and ‘Bhrama’ is possessed of a ridiculously catchy guitar riff, that is so catchy even Lee can’t help but sing along, rickety keyboards and blasts of organ fill out the sound and it makes for a charmingly endearing piece of pop.

Despite the album being very short, the retro vibe does become ever so slightly grating. The title track is a rather lightweight pastiche with its girl group vocals and ‘Jubb’s hammering keyboard riff is pleasant but forgettable, the album improves with single ‘Vactionation’ as Hooded Fang return to the ramshackle garage rock that they do best, the music always sounds on the edge of falling apart but Lee’s gloriously exuberant chorus gives it a nice sense of excitement. The album ends on a sweet note with the waltzing ballad ‘Den of Love’ and its horns and crooned vocals are a particularly lovely way to finish.

There is certainly very little progression and invention to Hooded Fang’s music but, then again music does not always have to be innovative to invigorate. There is a naïve charm to their rudimentary rock and ‘Tosta Mista’ is a sporadically great introduction to those charms.
Rating: 6/10
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