Sunday, December 16, 2012

WRAPPING UP 2012 with Hooded Fang

Hooded Fang’s debut UK release “Tosta Mista” is named after a grilled Portuguese sandwich snack. Apparently. But it’s best not to take the tongue-in-cheek, cartoon villain world of the Toronto outfit at face value – even from a band whose (Canadian only) debut EP was called “EP” and their debut album “Album”. Are they are a collective or just a vehicle for chief Fang Daniel Lee? Can these ridiculously infectious beat-pop tunes really constitute a break-up album? Does a 22 minutes and only seven proper tracks make an album? And what’s with the masked Mexican wrestlers?

What is undeniable, except to a few po-faced reviewers, is the effect of the record on the listener: “evocative of summer sunshine and parties on the beach – clean, bright indie pop mixed with ’60s garage and a whiff of Tiki kitsch” said Loud and Quiet. “A record that screams “FUN” across its breezy 22-minute running time... but rather than it sounding like an experiment in kitsch or all surface and no feeling, it really does sound like it’s written from the heart” said The Line Of Best Fit. My take back in March was “listening to this record is like opening a sealed time-capsule from 1968... but rather than diminishing returns retro-nostalgia, “Tosta Mista” feels like a genuine re-tread of garage rock year zero and Lenny Kaye’s “Nuggets” collection. Hooded Fang manage to capture – not recreate - the sense of possibility, experimentation and fun of that era brilliantly... half the length of most albums but twice the psyche-pop fun”.

Here Daniel Lee reflects on the last twelve months for Hooded Fang:

What I will remember most about 2012 is...
The birth of the internet. It came in the form of a 7-billion armed porn monster where ideas are everything and money disappears.

What should be forgotten about 2012...
Clop Clop. It had its day, and now pony cartoons having sex are passé.

The best gig we played was...
Brussels, London, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester, Berlin, the moon.

The best gig I saw was...
Ariel Pink at Constellation, the surf band in Manchester (shit I forget their name). [that would be The Bell Peppers?]

A record from 2012 that will be still be played in 10 years time?
Slim Twig "A Hound At The Hem", Ariel Pink "Mature Themes".

Overlooked in 2012?
Probably everything good.

And what can we look forward to in 2013 from Hooded Fang?
New record, stupid costumes, purchasing of ponies, holograms, digital fictional live players, extra heads, extra head.

Hooded Fang toured the UK in May with Howler, having to bump a show for Underachievers Please Try Harder at The Castle until the autumn. Sadly I missed both chances to see the band live but let’s hope a return visit to accompany new album “Gravez” is on the cards.

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