Speech Shadowing

Fangs Out

Etxe Records, 2010


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The two-piece Midwest art-punk band of Fangs Out, composed of Mark Peterson and Samantha Wandtke, began in 2008 in Toledo, Ohio. It didn't take long for their energetic live shows to take notice, where the pair would often switch instruments while gracing the audience with memorable, melodic variations of post-punk.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Musically, the pair is skilled at their instruments and able to churn out riffs that rock, bass lines that bounce, and percussion that bangs. Vocally, with Wadtke handling that portion, it's a bit of an acquired taste, though as most of fans of the genre will attest to, this is par for the course. I mean, not too many punk singers are going to make the cut on American Idol.

"Lustful" starts off with a hypnotic, post-punk vibe, which is followed by "Black Market" and its rumbling bass. Occasionally, the duo plays sans a guitar, and on the bass-less, ultra-hip "Factory Model," Fangs Out shows us how proficient they are at minimalism. Though they generally avoid any mainstream or radio-friendly atmospheres, Wadtke periodically harmonizes with herself, providing a memorable chorus here and there, and "Polished Place" would be a great fit for the dance punk scene. Similarly, the consistent mood here is mostly cloudy, but things will on occasion pull to either side of the spectrum. The best display of this is the tense, dramatic disc highlight "Unipolar."

If bands like Gang Of Four, The Futureheads, Wire, Joy Divison or even more recent duos such as The White Stripes have invaded your collection, this obscure but interesting outfit will be a nice addition. Though the band went on a hiatus not long after this album was released, in the last couple of years they've been playing shows consistently while releasing a new single. With any luck they will expand on the artistic side of their craft for a new album sometime soon.

Rating: B

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