December 06, 2001

Hood "Home Is Where It Hurts"

I have Hood 7"s that have fewer songs than this CD, but that's okay. IS this a single? Is this a full length? Considering the nature of Hood releases, I'm treating it as a full length, especially as nothing new has come out from these Brits in ages,

If you're not familiar with Hood, don't feel bad; most of the world, indie rock world included, haven't heard of Hood, so that's perfectly alright. I forgive you. You're forgiven. But just this time.

Anyway, there's something odd about this record. Their first releases were experiments in fitting as many songs on a 7" or whatever kind of format they happened to be dealing in. Thus, you got a lot of lo-fi experiments, noise, and moments of utter clarity and genius. Somewhere, someone convinced them that making long, epic, prog-rocky songs would be the way to go, and they abandoned the lo-fi styles for more heady, experimental, and downright spooky.

Home Is Where It Hurts is a continuation of those earlier styles; in fact, this record shows the band going towards more of an electronica/darkwave territory, and I'm not sure that such a direction does them any harm. There's always been a bit of a disturbed aura to Hood; they've teetered on the evil and the noisy for quite some time.

This record is no exception.

Home Is Where It Hurts is definitely cinematic in nature; in fact, the entire album reminds me a great deal of this "band" that made soundtrack music, called Pray For Rain (they did incidental music for Sid and Nancy), and it's really lovely that way.

The first track, "Home is Where It Hurts," is a ballad, sung with longing and regret, and a lovely guitar-led backup. "The Fact that You Failed" starts off rather darkly, and only gets louder and more ominous, until it ends in a cacophony of noise. "Cold Fire Woods of Western Lands" is next, and is much more traditional Hood, if you will; it's lo-fi, scratchy, guitar rock, with fuzzy recording and all. The last two songs, "The World Touches Too Hard" and "It's Been A long time since I was last here" are both instrumentals; they coalesce rather nicely; they're jazzy, dark, brooding, and sound rather dancy and electronically-produced as well, aka DJ's may or may not be involved.

Hood: a confounding group that really defy description; I make no bones about the fact that they can leave me going "huh" but Home is Where it Hurts is a nice, lovely, haunting record of a record; it's reminiscent of 4ad to a certain extent; and if you like that kind of sound, I think you'll enjoy Hood.

--Joseph Kyle

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