Why are These Fangs so Happy?

Why are These Fangs so Happy?

Adriana SaboTuesday,17 June 2014

The Snap:

Happy Fangs is a band from San Francisco, self described as a “war-painted and wiry rock trio.” They are highly influenced by Nirvana, Hanni El Khatib, Viv Albertine, Palma Violets, The Vaccines, Wavves, Blood Red Shoes, Lowell, Plastic Bertrand etc., and you can definitely hear it in their music. The word that might best describe them is “retro” as their imagery blends different influences from the eighties — like Siouxie, or B-59’s, for instance, with the distinct black and white appearance typical of the early years of the decade — with the somewhat harsh and raw sounds of the nineties. You can’t miss the influence of Nirvana, even if you wanted. To quote them again, “Happy Fangs is San Francisco’s war-painted and wiry rock trio. Rebecca Gone Bad brings her high-energy vocals. Mr. Cobra brings his grit-pop guitar. Jess G brings her hard-hitting melodic beats. Together they create empowering anthems to make both Bikini Kill & AC/DC proud.” It all started when Rebecca met Cobra while they rehearsed — each with their own band — at the same place. So they decided to team up Rebecca’s strong indie experience and Cobra’s dark-electro band, and voila! Happy Fangs were born. They mostly play live shows, but in October 2013 they released the first EP that is worth checking out.

The Download: 

Their self titled EP has seven tracks that make an interesting collection of fast and energetic songs. The only exception is the final track, “Alone,” that brings a sadder mood. The opening track on the EP speaks volumes about the band, revealing what they are all about. The strong, energetic beat, raw guitar sound and a piercing voice of the singer that fits fantastically with anger, happiness and sadness. “Hiya Kaw Kaw” — the first track — is a real angry thing. Their “tone of voice” remains the same as Rebecca sings “I’m too shrewd for that activity.” The punks that lie deep inside this trio come rushing out in “Midnight Monsters.” The track is one of the best on the EP, revealing the serious side of them, sounding sharp and raw, with Rebecca really going bad. Her voice is absolutely amazing, and she is able to make incredible transformations and pour all of her emotions into the song. The dark and twisted characteristic of Cobra’s dark-electro past shine out of every note of every song on the album. Even though “Midnight Monsters” hold the #1 place in my heart, there is no denying that the ending of the EP is the definite highlight of Happy Fangs’ debut. Track no. 6 is titled “Lion Inside You” and it conveys strength, power and anger, even more than other tracks:

“There’s a lion inside you.
Feed it, it bites you.
There’s a lion inside you.
Feed it, it bites you.
Be it, it likes you.”

After this rush of adrenaline, you slip into sadness and this contrast is what makes the whole album come together. The song  has only the voice and the acoustic guitar, summoning the depressive mood of some Nirvana songs. And so you are left like that, kind of sad after feeling like you need to bite someone’s head off. I’m not sure I actually love the final track, but still. The effect can’t be denied.

Happy Fangs are perfect for when you are feeling weird and you need to let yourself be weird. The black-and-white trio bring about that freak rock vibe that we seem to have forgotten.


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Hat Tips:

BandCamp, Facebook, Image Credit: YouTube screen capture from Happy Fangs, “Lion Inside You”

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