Hooded Fang

Album, the album by Hooded Fangs

By Carl Perks

Brush open a new spot at the top of your list of bands to look out for.

Hooded Fangs were reviewed for the first time six months after their formation and only days after the launch of their first, self-titled EP, by I Heart Music. The review stated that as an exception to the general rule, Hooded Fangs did not require years of practice and a belt full of albums to emerge out of the womb as a tight sounding band.

After a bit of touring, the seven-piece band went back to study health at NYU.
Now they are back with a brand new album (ironically entitled Album) and their music has never sounded so wise and well crafted. The past statement about the experience in their sound seems under done as an uneducated guess could place them as the headline of the modern indie-folk genre.

In Album, they completely discarded their initial Strokes-with-acoustic-guitars-and-female-vocals ways and developed their own, ever so accurate and pertinent, sound. It’s not that the auditory sensation of the album is unheard of or unlike anyone else’s, the praise here is to the fact that the genre has only rarely been performed so masterfully.

There are seven instruments often playing in conjunction and five voices (two male and three female) that interchange or chorus, yet their arrangements are never overdone and no sound is ever out of place. The key ingredient is in simple individual scores unified within complex layering.

The riddle-wrapped enigma here is the overall mood of the album: lyrics you don’t understand make you sad as you tap your feet to upbeat drum lines that accompany guitar that makes you dance and reminisce yet lay back in nostalgia.
All the vocals, male and female, merge and fall out of unison so smoothly that you don’t perceive the change despite their completely clashing individual timbres. Pop has never been so smooth as folk has rarely seemed so upbeat and cheerful.

Now scribble the words Hooded Fang in the newly empty spot on your “bands to look out for” list.

A good guess and a peek at the ever-growing amount of their iTunes sales would lead to the assumption that their shows will eventually pack up. This means that this Toronto-based band’s tour kick-off at the Divan Orange in Montreal on Nov. 3 is as intimate as you’ll ever get to see them play. Album, their first album was released on Tuesday.

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