On ‘Gravez’, Hooded Fang sound like Blur and The Doors, as played by a triumphant college rock band from 1994
This off-hand, self-effacing (dis)regard for their songwriting approach, belies the brilliance of their songwriting; Hooded Fang are a group with supreme appreciation for the subtlety that is the foundation of great songwriting. And nowhere is this more evident than on their third album Gravez.
Gravez has been called the ‘jauntiest break-up album of all time’, and though there are elements of catharsis in the album, such as the near claustrophobic closing segment of Trasher, the overwhelming sentiment of the album is of a coming together, of self-confidence. This is evident from the nonchalant bassline that begins the album’s title track, before a triumphant riff crashes in, sounding as though it’s been ripped from the repertoire of a 1994 American college band, who have taken the influences of the alternative and indie-rock that was pre-eminent and decided that life was too short to dwell on its darker moments.
It’s a mood that continues throughout, with Ode To Suburbia making you feel as though you are out on the dancefloor, watching the band in their pomp. Wasteland throws in a little of the art-rock experimentalism that decorated Blur’s classic 13, while Sailor Bull adds a little of The Doors’ psychedelic pop excellence to the mix.
Gravez is a triumphant album, the sound of a band operating with total security in their songwriting approach and the sound of a band that might just be on the cusp of making a major dent in the indie-rock scene.
Verdict: Triumphant indie-rock that oozes self-confidence