Fangs Out are a duo from Toledo that rotate around on a variety of instruments, but mostly they sound like your typical post-punk inspired rock band. Their debut album, Speech Shadowing, is one of those records that actually gets worse the more you listen to it. As instrumentalists, Samantha Wadtke and Mark Peterson are solid players, able to bang out a rumbling bass line, a decent guitar riff, and various pounding drum beats. Lead vocalist Wadtke, on the other hand, is a terrible singer—or maybe this duo just has no idea how to write a melody.
Regardless, song after song on Speech Shadowing is undermined by Wadtke’s moaning goth-girl vocals. She spends most of the album plowing through lyrics in a low-pitched tone of voice that does the band no favors. Fangs Out’s songs aren’t at all hooky, and that’s fine, but there’s nothing musically compelling about them, either. The tracks just sort of lie there, with little buildup or breakdown. Every now and then, Wadtke and Peterson seem to stumble upon a melody by accident, and then the band comes to life. It happens on “Polished Place”, where Wadtke shakes off her doldrums and actually sings. This is the exception, though, in a sea of tuneless songs.
// Notes from the Road
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