Artist: Hooded Fang
Recorded at Christie Pits Park (Bloor Ossington Folk Festival – Day 1), September 17, 2016.Hooded Fang - Shallow
It was a bad news/good news sort of vibe down at Christie Pits. There was a sense of triumph that the festival — for the previous five years a well-curated, intimate event with an enjoyably-casual vibe — was happening at all, given that it was at the very precipice of the plug being pulled in the face of some expected grant money not coming through. The joy at the fact that the organizers found a way to go ahead with it was tempered by the sadness at the corresponding announcement that this would be the festival's final edition. On Saturday, the fact the event had been downsized — losing its main stage and moving everything under the beer garden tent — turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the day arrived with the (seemingly annual) dose of rain. The park was eerily quiet but it made everything feel extra dry and cozy as the bands played.
Through sheer bad luck, I hadn't seen Hooded Fang playing since their Venus On Edge album dropped. There's a slightly-altered pulse behind the band, with Jonathan Pappo (also of Whimm) towing the hypersurf beats without trying to slavishly imitate the inimitable D. Alex Meeks. The propulsion of the newer stuff had Dan Lee referring to some lyrics on a music stand, and it was a little sad to see he had the only mic on stage, limiting April Aliermo's essential banter. With only a couple glances back to older stuff, the band hummed and bopped along in fine style, essaying the knotty tensions of the newer stuff.