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ARCHIVES | 2005 | MAIN STAGE | HOOD


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Biography

Outside Closer foregrounds a new directness and boldness for Hood. The Leeds 4 piece have made a bright, brave and modern record. It's full of surprise, originality, soul, and venom just like 'pop' music should be.

"We wanted it to jump out of the speakers" explains Richard Adams "and to make it emotionally draining. Anti-indie/tronic. Big rather than small. Not background music. Not necessarily 'nice'."

 

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Following on from their cLOUDDEAD assisted work on 'Cold House' Hood enjoy looking in new places for collaborators. "We like using people we find in nooks and crannies, sympathisers if you will - one of the guys is an acclaimed Cuban musician, one of them is "permanently arrested" anti-capitalist agitator it just gets your eyes open a bit to other ways of working", explains Richard.

Future single 'The Negatives' would suggest that the Adams brothers find their epiphanies in lengthy winter walks rather than Ecstasy or brandy: "Go to the furthest place from your house", they urge, "Stand there a while / Make sure you're broke / And watch the birds fly round!"

 

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"Our love of the great outdoors has been well documented," reiterates Chris Adams, "Please refer to all our LPs, singles, tapes, compilation appearances, flexis, MP3s, artwork, interviews, general conversations and holiday destinations."

Is the track title 'This Is It, Forever' an allusion to the end of Hood?
"We've probably been the only band ever to announce our split in song ('Hood Is Finished') and then not split," suggests Richard, "So I don't know."

Don't be fooled, Outside Closer is a New Morning for Hood. After a few missed invitations, they'll finally be playing at the Rh Lovely. And we're so proud of that!

 

Discography

-) 1994 : 'Cabled Linear Transmission' on Fluff (1995 and 1999 on Slumberland).

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-) 1996 : 'Silent '88' on Slumberland.

The Wire's point of view :
Hood also go all over the place on "Silent '88". This home recording has a 26-track menu of pretty acoustic passages, full-throated howling over fuzz guitar, primitive chamber pieces, still life abstract passages and out of nowhere an insane snippet of drum 'n' bass with mournful piano and curdled electronics. Again it's the kind of mess that hits the mark. How sweet it is when the incredulous question "Who are they aiming this at?" is simply answered: "Me".

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-) 1996 : 'Structured Disasters' on Happy Go Lucky.

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-) 1998 : 'Rustic Houses, Forlorn Valleys' on Domino Records.

Melody Maker's point of view :
If you didn't know that Hood had been hatched by two brothers in the corner of their bedroom "Rustic Houses Forlorn Valleys" would leave you in no doubt. A dank tangle of guitars, reeds, strings and samplers, it has a clotted, closeted almost incestuous air - how Arab Strap might have ended up if they had spent their days telling each other stories instead of getting drunk in the park and sleeping with all their friends. Christopher and Richard Adams plus the couple of outsiders allowed into their sanctum prefer this dreamy intensity, a sleep softened mood that could snap into staring menace at any moment. Often very lovely - the Labradfordian opener "SE Rain Patterns", the distorted "Your Ambient Voice" torn apart from the inside by a distorted electric thrum - there's enough discord here to stop you being duped by beauty. The sub Guided By Voices scrawl of "Diesel Pioneers" and the occasional feathery feyness might keep your heart on hold too, but caution be damned. For all the murk and darkness of their name, Hood are a lucid pleasure.

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-) 1999 : 'The Cycle Of Days And Seasons' on Domino Records.

NME's point of view :
This is a record of quiet and displaced loneliness. It's full of the uncanny sensation that you've somehow ended up in the wrong place, but can't remember where. Which is all very much in keeping with Hood's befuddled take on introspective music where being a shambles is very much an occupational hazard.
Following on from 1996's 'Distant Houses and Forlorn Valleys', this feather The Third Eye Foundation's Mat Elliott on board as producer. The result is an elegiac combination of medative guitars and inspired tetchy sampling shot through with rainy-day northern melancholy.
'Western Housing Concerns' evokes wet afternoons in their native Wetherby. Half-audible whispering voices alongside looped muffled church bells of 'September Brings The Autumn Dawn' make for ambient disquiet without ever falling into tweeness. Elsewhere, on 'The Cliff Edge Of Workday Morality' strings haunt, adding to the delicate weary tone.
Call it post-rock if you like but Hood, like the quiet army of Godspeed You Black Emperor!, have found in the genre a new means of expression: leaving behind self-consciousness noodling and experimentation for its own sake by adding grace and intensity. Here, quite possibly, is a bit of the future. And it's quiet.

Neil Thomson.

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-) 2001 : 'Home Is Where It Hurts' on Domino Records / Aesthetics.

Mojo's point of view :
hood's mid 90's releases were full of rough snapshots of mood and place, but their guitar based music has always permitted woodwinds, keyboards, electronic disturbances, voices and found sounds. their vagueness, though evocative, could be frustrating at times. this, their sixth album finds the music more vivid, more adventurous, more realised and more accessible. the only frustration now is that this collection clocks in at under half an hour. the ghost most readily evoked in this mixture of ambience and contrariness is that of the underrated sadly demised bark psychosis. on 'the fact that you failed', guitars gradually build on a chord pattern along with sampled voices and dubwise effects. Meanwhile whirring, clicking electronics, parlour piano and violin drones somehow find their place on the mantric pop of 'cold fire woods of western lanes' - and its a beauty.

Mike Barnesnme - site.

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-) 2001 : 'Cold House' on Domino Records / Aesthetics.

NME's point of view :
Great skills from enduring indie fellas
Roughly as bling-bling as a lard sandwich, these days it's very easy to underestimate the Hoods of this world. Four Yorkshiremen who espouse every clich of old-skool indie the faceless bedroom productions, the inability to sing in tune their erratic approach to songcraft has tempered their frequent fineness previously. But 'Cold House' produced by Black Star Liner's Choque Hosein, is uniformly excellent. Really.
'They Removed All Trace That Anything Had Ever Happened Here' (the title comes with the territory, we're afraid) is a consummate opening track: sorrowful strings, skittering beat constructs and desperate vocals, plus offbeat rhyming from Dose One and Why? of cLOUDDEAD..
It's an accurate primer for the rest of the LP. Open-eared enough to swallow up devastating, dubbed-out slo-core ('Enemy Of Time') and bonkers glitch-electronics ('This Is What We Do To Sell Out(s)'); echo-chamber dub colliding with Tortoise-pace guitar and dark-corner drones. Few, if any, British bands are making music quite like this right now.
'Cold House' is a revelation: confirming that indie isn't dead, despite what the utter paucity of ambition or relevance in 90 percent of the current plod-guitar crop might lead you to believe. Not just a triumph of the independent spirit more importantly, a great album.

Monsieur Morel - site.

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-) 2002 : 'You Show Now Emotion At All' on Domino Records.

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-) 2003 : 'Singles Compiled' on Misplaced Music.

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-) 2003 : 'Compilations 1995-2002' on Misplaced Music.

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-) 2004 : 'The Lost You' on Domino Records.

Leonard's Lair's point of view :
It has been a quiet period by Hood's normally prolific standards but time has clearly done little to diminish the miserablist and eclectic qualities of the Yorkshire band. The title track to 'The Lost You' EP leads off with some wonderful off-kilter harmonies - featuring a Robert Wyatt sample - and those familiar rustic guitar patterns that are now their own trademark. The third song 'The Rest Of Us Still Care' actually surpasses it; here the guitar melodies are gorgeous, meandering in all kinds of directions and when the vocals kick in just past the two-minute mark, the effect is stunningly hypnotic. In this company the three other (predominately-instrumental) tracks suffer a little but they prove that they can still provide fine ambient accompaniment for the coldest of the seasons. With an album to follow very soon in 2005, this serves as a great taster which serves to whet the appetite for more.

site.

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-) 2005 : 'Outside Closer' on Domino Records.

Playlouder's point of view :
It would have been easy for Hood to build upon their last album - 'Cold House' (late 2001) - by becoming fully-fledged abstract glitch merchants. Instead, they've chosen songs over electronics - without throwing the baby out with the bath water. Thus, they've created a world of tender reflection encompassing engaging melodic cycles, pastoral textures, glitchy interjections, acoustic decoration, melancholic strings, loose, jazz tinged drums, lonely horns, yearning guitar laments and delicate vocals: All melded into ebbs and flows that form a coherent universe through songs which all have their own defining characteristics. At times it's like they've picked up the production baton from Mark Hollis (Talk Talk) and dragged it into 2005. Every detail feels as though it's been carefully pored over. Listen to how beats have been recorded to capture room ambience. There's love in this creation. And that's a key aspect of what Hood do. Nope, not the beats schmucko... the fact that their beauty exists in the tiniest of details, and reveals more of itself to those who are ACTIVE listeners. Like most things in life folks, reward is all the sweeter for a little effort.

Gal Detourn - site.

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Audio

A few tracks are to be downloaded here, here and here.

 

Web

-) Official site.
-) Domino Records.