Monday, March 12, 2012


Listening to this record is like opening a sealed time-capsule from 1968. Inside are 10 perfectly preserved specimens of fuzzy garage-pop replete with heart-gladdening optimism and groovy beats. It’s fantastically fresh and immediate. True if you want more recent reference points, you can hear some of that languid Strokes NYC cool in the chug of ‘Brahma’ or the peppy summer sounds of The Drums in the surf-leaning ‘Vacationation’. But rather than diminishing returns retro-nostalgia, “Tosta Mista” feels like a genuine re-tread of garage rock year zero and the Lenny Kaye’s “Nuggets” collection. Hooded Fang manage to capture – not recreate - the sense of possibility, experimentation and fun of that era brilliantly.

Song lyrics can sound mock-profound and deeply allusive (“they call me Poncho / but I ain’t got no partner today“) but the whole package is an immediately accessible psychedelic pop triumph. Apparently it was written in the aftermath of the end of a five year relationship between singer/guitarist Daniel Lee and bassist April Aliermo but it sounds more delirious than despondent, more exuberant than exhausted by relationship woes.

It’s a brief album: seven songs proper with three Joe Meek-meets-noir soundtrack instrumental snatches between tracks but it doesn’t feel skimpy or slight. Even those three ‘Big Blue’ interludes sound like extracts from a larger, unrealised project. This album is the Toronto collective’s second after their self-released, Canada only “Album” in 2010 but their UK debut. It did make it to these shores at the end of last year but is now picked up by Full Time Hobby for a full UK release, out today. I hope the label hasn’t added any tracks to it – they’re not needed. Half the length of most albums but twice the psyche-pop fun.

Hooded Fang - ESP by fulltimehobby

Hooded Fang
Tosta Mista [BUY]

No comments: