HOODED FANG play the Horseshoe on May 31. See listing. Rating: NNNN
Together and separately, Hooded Fang's April Aliermo and Daniel Lee play in multiple projects: Phedre, Tonka & Puma, Hut and Lee Paradise, to name a few. Those side bands were once an outlet for sounds that didn't fit Hooded Fang's twee-leaning orchestrated seven-piece, complete with glockenspiel flourishes.
The Toronto outfit slimmed down to a quartet for their third album, Gravez, and opened their sound to include those styles previously reserved for their other gigs: fuzzy garage rock, slinky synths, summery surf and hints of psych, Kraut and Tropicália. But Gravez is a unified listen whose influences serve Hooded Fang's greatest strength: infectious hooks. Despite the title's spectre of death, the album picks up on the breezy energy of their last, Tosta Mista, and builds with a live-off-the-floor approach. It all clocks in at just a hair over 30 minutes, but it's so much fun you'll want to hit repeat.
Top track: Ode To Subterrania