by Tiana Feng
Release Date: May 28th, 2013
Label: Daps Records
In 2012’s Tosta Mista, Hooded Fang left the constraints of their orchestral pop “Album” past behind. It’s as if the band suddenly discovered drugs and became more carefree. Gravez takes this idea further. Its purposely dirty and uncleanly production a result of being recorded in a garage.
The title track “Graves” (without a z) iterates the line “so many faces and they’re all the same, why you lookin’ at me?” strikes as teenage paranoia if not for the ba ba bas that follow later. This sense of paranoia is also evoked in the clusterphobic lo-fi production of excited instruments.
It’s the carelessness that balances it out. While the band sounds like it is frantically running in “Sailor Bull”, vocalist Daniel Lee takes his sweet time. The line “Come in in the morning when the light comes in/come in in the evening when it’s down again” happens in two completely different tracks (“Thrasher” and “Genes”). It reinforces the whole idea of being young and partying every night.
It’s not all jovial though. Deep within the surf-rocky melodies are dark lines. “I run my fingers through an open wound/looking for a place to die” is hidden “Never Mind.” The 8 songs (plus intro/outro) however rapidly pass by before you can think too much about them.