Hooded Fang Gravez

Hooded FangGravez
Should Toronto require some patron saints of indie, Hooded Fang would make ripe pickings. Band members April Aliermo and Dan Lee are two-thirds of DAPS, a respected T.O. label that's released Odonis Odonis, Moon King and Hooded Fang side-projects Hut and Phèdre. April, meanwhile, founded a creative playschool (substitute teachers include Maylee Todd and Henri Fabergé) where kids play musical instruments, sometimes on DAPS releases. That sense of community is undetectable on Gravez, a typically self-absorbed record that, like predecessor Tosta Mista, was apparently recorded in the kind of damp garage you'd need "the knack" to open the entrance to. Where Tosta Mista was essentially disposable, Gravez (which clocks in at 30 minutes, seven beyond its predecessor) is disposably essential. There's a vulnerability to broodier songs like "Genes," where you get the sense that the yappiness found elsewhere signals not apathy or spiritual vacancy but desperation to escape a burdened consciousness. With this in mind, the band's distinctive pep becomes peppier somehow, as highlights "Wasteland," "Never Minding" and "Ode to Subterrania" feature trilled vocals and hectic, fidgety guitars to chase away the melancholy. For those under the impression Hooded Fang subscribe to a right-note-right-time, throwaway pop formula, Gravez offers something meatier to chew on. (Daps)