Monday, February 20, 2012

Hooded Fang Bring Us Some Throwback Goodness: A Review Of Tosta Mista

What the hell is in the water up in Canada? On paper, this looks like a precious, contrived endeavor. In reality, it's one of the best -- if shortest -- albums I've heard in some time.

Hooded Fang are set to drop Tosta Mista in wide(r) release in March and I urge you to pick it up. In the UK, they are on Full Time Hobby.

Tosta Mista is a mess. It's a hot mess of influences but the songs work even though they shouldn't.

I just haven't heard anything quite like this in years.

A song like "Brahma" uses riffs that sound like leftovers from the house band in any Frankie-and-Annette beach movie, with a vocal line bearing the influence of every North American indie crooner since Beck. The tune sways and charms.

"ESP" is more of a Nuggets-worthy cruncher with a vaguely Beach Boys-esque guitar clanking in the mix and a psychedelic feel to the melody.

But it's really "Den of Love" that makes the album an essential purchase. This cut sounds like Pavement doing Frankie Lymon! If that sounds like an unholy combination, so be it. The song is quite simply one of the best tracks I've heard in ages and it's got that weird mix of the familiar and the new -- I can recognize the pieces of genres that make up the song but "Den of Love" still sounds wholly unlike anything I've heard before.

Tosta Mista is a short record but at least it's consistent. Apart from the little instrumental bits, all of the songs sound like lost gems from the 1960s. It's like your hip friend rained a vinyl shop, found some weird bands you'd never heard of before, and then made a mix of a bunch of the best cuts.

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