The Hoax EP from US rockers Mod Fiction is one of those releases which from an intriguing and strangely magnetic seed in its first initial encounter grows into an irresistibly compelling and thoroughly exciting provocation. Consisting of four fuzz drenched persistently nagging tracks which simply infect and infest the psyche over time whilst breeding an eager hunger for much more from the Albany trio, the release provides an acidic and caustic landscape of minimalist noise invention, scuzz kissed guitar imagination, and hooks which are unrelenting in their temptation. Part noise rock, part garage punk, and part alternative rock, a mix which borders schizophrenic toxicity, the band’s sound merges different decades in an inventive brew that takes its time but all the time works a captivating spell upon thoughts and emotions.
Formed in 2011, Mod Fiction released their debut album Come Back Down in the summer of 2012.Citing influences from the likes of Mudhoney, Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, Neil Young, Nirvana, The Beatles, The Kinks… and the list goes on, the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Kevin Gadani, bassist/vocalist Peter Monaco, and drummer Greg Gadani have honed a presence which certainly points and hints at their inspirations but equally sculpts an identity of its own. It does not leap out as fully unique quite yet but as Hoax reveals it is well on the way.
A sonic spear of feedback and forcefulness surges on the ear to open up first track Quit Stalling before being rapidly joined by a heavy gaited deep throated bassline which would find a home in any L7 song. Soon acidic grooves and barbed riffs alongside crisp rhythms enter the provocation and intensify the temptation. Into its stride the track is a contagious mesh which plays for UK fans like a mix of The St Pierre Snake Invasion and Houdini, a raw melodic coaxing aligned to a punk causticity which ingrains its bait deeply in the appetite. The core groove of the song is a virulent lure from which everything else erupts and swings from whilst the twin vocal suasion only accentuates the raw and magnetic presence of a destined to be favourite of a great many, especially with another little Nirvana like spice breaking out at times to spice things up.
It is an impressive start taken on by the following Losing Interest, a song which is rendering flaming chords and melodic tempting on the ears from its first breath. A sixties garage pop air coats the song though equally a seventies garage rock essence is working its charm just as vibrantly within the twenty first century fuzz driven keenly cast enterprise. Like its predecessor the song is impossibly infectious through its summery chorus and ever present hooks around bluesy grooves, especially at its climax, but it does just fall short of making the same impact sitting in the middle of the first song and the EP’s best offering which comes next. Silence in Stereo is a prowling treat of a song, a delicious menace which nags and probes the senses through its bass built spine and jagged cuts of jangly guitars. It immediately takes thoughts back to seventies/eighties punk and bands such as Swell Maps whilst its garage blues outbursts pulls up later decades and insatiable flavours. The song swells and saunters along with a hypnotic allurement, which like the sonic flavouring, ebbs and flows through different gaits and structures. It is a masterful piece of noise alchemy, simple and concise within its muggy air but beautifully sculpted to belie its expertise.
The closing track Is This Morning? for personal tastes just does not come close to matching the first three though its unique intent is as welcomed proposition. A heated ambience washes the ear whilst singular key notes plonk a lone discord narrative before all come together in a haunted union. With spoken samples colouring its air the piece is an evocative and intriguing, as well as intimidating, drama but so different to what came before that it does not sit easy on the EP itself. This is a band to keep you on your mental toes though you suspect so the track certainly succeeds in that aspect.
Mod Fiction is a band destined and sure to challenge and thrill us ahead on the evidence of Holly Wax Records released Hoax EP. The potential revealed on the release is mouthwatering and already fully enticing meaning this is one more band to add to that ‘To Watch’ list.
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