Tosta Mista is the second full length album from Canadians Hooded Fang and is also a Portuguese toasted Ham and Cheese Sandwich. The album is as simple as the aforementioned sandwich but sadly not as effective. It clocks in at just under twenty-three minutes with ten tracks to behold. For such a short album the band must follow the Pixies code of songwriting - a load of finely-tuned sprinters, assaulting the listener one after the other. Wham! Bam! Monkey Gone to Heaven! Done. It has to be crammed full of goodies, leaving us wanting more and pressing the ‘play’ button again. Unbelievably, three of the ten tracks are the same track reprised, bookending the album and also sitting in the middle of it for good measure. In essence, this makes the album seven tracks long. Surely that’s just an EP?

We begin with ‘Big Blue i’ (of iii) which fades in, creating mystery about what is set to come. ‘Clap’ starts in a similar vein but after the initial ‘oohs’, Tosta Mista truly begins – boisterous, high tempo indie-rock songs that sound like a simpler Los Campesinos or The Strokes with ADHD and a dose of surf. The biggest problem with the album is that the songwriting is just not good. The songs are formulaic and uninspired, spewing out the same old stuff people having been doing for years with no innovation or interest. The lyrics are, for the most part, drivel: "So lady let down your hair/stop waving your hand in the air/and have a good, chilled out time tonight." Often, the singer opts to "ba-ba-ba" or "do-do-do" along to riffs rather than write words or a chorus. Vocally, singer Daniel Lee sounds similar to Adam Green in his Moldy Peaches days. He flounders on high notes and delivers a lazy ‘I’m so cool’ vocal. The producer has decided, for some reason, to distort his voice for the whole album, which grates.

Of the songs on display here, ‘Brahma’ and the title track are some of the better moments, the latter sounding almost like Deerhunter in places. However, ‘ESP’ is overly long and boring and ‘Jubb’ is positively horrid. ‘Den of Love’ is the band’s moment of contemplation/the big heartbreak moment at the end of the record. It sounds like their take on ‘Unchained Melody’ and is the only slow song. Had the band decided to not reprise the ‘Big Blue’ track three times and turn it into a full song then they may have been on to something. It is the most interesting thing here and is a wasted opportunity.

Tosta Mista is not a terrible album it is just really uninspired. I can imagine it being the background music to a student house party and I’m sure in a live setting the band can put on a show. Yes, the album is high tempo and energetic but it is not interesting enough beneath the surface. The fact that it is so short and so banal is unforgivable. The band should have waited until they had more diverse material, released this as an EP and gone back to the drawing board for the full length album.