Friday, March 18, 2005

Hood - Outside Closer

Hood are the kind of band that reinvent themselves with every album. A practically rare gift, if you ask me. They're also far from a fluke band with just an album or two in them. They've been releasing albums for almost ten years now, an eternity in the indie scene. So, it comes as no surprise and yet quite a shocker that after so long, they dig deep inside themselves and pull out their best release yet.

I've gotten in trouble before for calling them a post-rock band. They may not sound like Mogwai but that doesn't mean they don't embody the ideals and directions of post-rock. Post-rock in a word, is rock music, expanded. Stretched to its farthest possibilities, with a constant need for experimentation.

Hood have gotten a lot of well-deserved attention with this album but I've been rabid fan for a couple years now. They were my favorite rainy-day/alone-in-my-room/with-headphones band. Their brilliant 2001 album Cold House sounded a lot like Radiohead gone trip-hop. Their short and sweet Home is Where it Hurts EP sounded like Explosions in the Sky on a cloudy day. And their surprisingly sweet The Cycle of Days and Seasons brought to mind a moody Cat Power meets The American Analog Set.

Outside Closer is special because it can only be compared to Hood. They've gone through so many changes as a band, drifting as far as possible from the metal stylings of Cabled Linear Traction, their first full-length. They came to an apex with Cold House, a sometimes direct, sometimes vague album that played like a see-saw and when the disc was over, you missed it. This new album has similar ups and downs but with a careful confidence that makes every note, every placement of sound, feel perfect, right.

The album starts with a short intro and then dives quickly into The Negatives, the boldest Hood track ever. What you'll first notice with this album is the beautiful strings, the classic Hood guitar plucking, and the breathy, whispery, vocals that emerge from an ether of sound. Next is Any Hopeful Thoughts Arrive, another beautiful string laden track that builds to a raucous climax. Other standouts are The Lost You, a memorable lamentation on loss and regret, Still Rain Fell, and Closure.

This is a difficult album. Challenging in the way TV on the Radio attacks your ears and the way Radiohead confounds your preconceptions about music. But it's also an extremely rewarding experience. It won't reveal itself with two or three listens, rather twenty or thirty are required before you can start to peel away the layers, to find the hidden Tootsie-Pop beauty.

(The preceeding post was dedicated to Jared. I miss our music talks.)

7 comments:

mold test kits said...

Warning...Warning.. Safety Tip of the WEEK...If you are having problems with colds and sickness in your home and you live in a moist wet ares of the country. Then you might want a mold test kits .. If you see black dust looking stuff on your walls or around your bathtub,shower or sink then you probaly have a mold problem and need to get a mold test kits . Dont panic and think you need to get a mold test kits right away. You can use bleach to clean it up with some paper tools and then dispose of the towels a trash bag. If you need some more info visit http://moldinfo4u.com .. I hope you have a safe and sickness free home...

Anonymous said...

Great work!
[url=http://hgjfysdd.com/jdem/rqmh.html]My homepage[/url] | [url=http://lmqjucyb.com/rfra/pexv.html]Cool site[/url]

Anonymous said...

Great work!
My homepage | Please visit

Anonymous said...

Nice site!
http://hgjfysdd.com/jdem/rqmh.html | http://wovkuxjy.com/isdj/txcf.html

Anonymous said...

Nice site!
[url=http://cbdxwcco.com/iutj/itzz.html]My homepage[/url] | [url=http://yekgzylg.com/hsya/xtkw.html]Cool site[/url]

Anonymous said...

Great work!
My homepage | Please visit

Anonymous said...

Good design!
http://cbdxwcco.com/iutj/itzz.html | http://enjaiqak.com/nzvk/pxcp.html