I, for one, am glad that Hood finally have a US record
deal. Aesthetics Records, out of Chicago, are distributing this
EP (and hopefully the next full-length as well) to an unsuspecting
Fools, you have no idea what you are getting in to! Hood will
crush you all! Hood will rule this misbegotten jungle of a country!
Ahem. Sorry. I got swept up in the excitement of the event.
You see, i <heart> Hood. They started off as a lo-fi experiment
and evolved into a complex band of sweeping majesty. Their music
is epic and beautiful and full of the scent of rainy country
days in their native Bristol, England.
There are moments when Hood capture the bittersweet nature
of life in perfect tones, and i live for that. A few minutes
of melody swirling around and leaving the listener with the
impression of hope intertwined with despair. Same emotion, different
perspective. That's Hood's music.
On this EP, Hood give me some of those precious moments of
clarity, with the promise of more to come.
The EP starts off, obviously enough, with the title track,
Home is Where it Hurts. Sampled drum beats skitter behind
a powerful bass riff that reminds me of some 80's New Wave song
that i can never quite name. The vocalist (i don't know the
names of the people in Hood, nor the exact number of them for
that matter, so don't ask) sings in staccato over chiming guitars.
It's a song for sunny windy days and is simply lovely.
Up next is The Fact That You Failed, which sounds as
if it will be an angry punk song. Instead, this is an epic dub
number, as if rather than being angry that you failed Hood are
oh so disappointed, and it's all they can do to make this song
move along with echoey dub drum beats, throbbing bass riffs,
and ponderous guitar arpeggios that stretch out in disappointment.
Eventually the song builds and then disintigrates into sheer
noise, like the noise of a stereo overloading is disgust.
On track three, Cold Fire Woods of Western Lanes, Hood
give us a simple lo-fi rock tune. The vocals are recorded a
little tinny, but the drums thump, bass thunders, and guitars
churn. Yeah! Just to show that Hood can rock out as well as
the next bloke!
In direct contrast, Hood put their least rock song next. The
World Touches too Hard calls to mind "post-rock" a la Kid
A. A light piano melody backed by strummed guitar
hovers over a scattering of blips and bleeps. (Hood use these
strange computer sounds subtly. Less like Labradford
and more like Radiohead.) Eventually a violin drone and long
echoing horn notes drown out the rest of the song. A really
Hood wrap things up with the epic It's Been A Long Time
Since I was Last Here. Sexy deep bass riffs thump over jazzy
drums while guitar washes float in the front and a mournful
horn wails. Then, voice -- simple and honest. This song is one
of those epic moments where Hood make my heart ache. It is such
a wonderful song that i have a hard time describing it. Every
time i try to write this part of the review i put the song on,
and then i just sit there listening and not writing. It took
a feat of willpower to get this much down. It's that good.
On the whole, this EP shows that Hood continue to make brilliant
and beautiful music. There should be a full-length out in September,
and there have been rumours of a US tour. Oh, i certainly hope
so! In the meantime my recommendation to you is to go buy this.