Tag Archives: lo-fi

HOOD – atmospheric pastoral punk

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THE DECADE OF THE NINETIES BROUGHT ABOUT MANY BANDS AND MUSICAL APPROACHES THAT CAME AND WENT QUIETLY, BUT NONE WERE QUITE LIKE HOOD.  FORMED IN LEEDS, UK IN 1991 HOOD COULD NEVER BE LUMPED INTO ONE MUSICAL CATEGORY BECAUSE THEIR OUTPUT WAS NEVER OF ONE SINGULAR APPROACH, NEVER REDUNDANT AND NEVER STATIC.  TRUE SONIC PIONEERS AND OMNIDIRECTIONAL MUSICIANS, THEIR ALBUMS CONTAIN SONGS THAT SPAN THE REALMS OF NOISY LO-FI, TEXTURED ATMOSPHERICS, STUDIO CUT-UPS, POP DITTIES, POSTROCK MEANDERINGS, TORTURED BALLADS AND SHOUTED REFRAINS.  SOME PIECES MIGHT BE :52 SECONDS, OTHERS 6 MINUTES.  THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT THERE IS NOT A SONIC COHERENCE TO THE WORK.  PERHAPS THE TRUE ART THROUGH ALL THEIR STYLISTIC CHOICES IS THAT IT ALL BEARS THE MAKERS MARK.  IT ALL SOUNDS LIKE….WELL, HOOD.  THEY PERSONIFY THE TRUE ESSENCE OF BEING “EXPERIMENTAL” WITHOUT THE ART-SCHOOL-POSTURING AND LOFTY WANKERY THAT USUALLY ACCOMPANIES THAT DESCRIPTION.  THIS WAS WORKING CLASS ARTMUSIK, PASTORAL PUNK, THE ESSENCE OF DIY THAT IS BORNE OUT OF NECESSITY AND DRIVE WITHOUT THE MODERN-DAY PRECIOUSNESS OF “OH, THIS IS HANDCRAFTED” OR “LOOK WHAT WE DID ALL BY OURSELVES!”.  THEY WERE EARNEST AND SINCERE WHEN IT WAS UNFASHIONABLE, HOMESPUN AND MODEST WHEN IT WAS COOL TO BE SLICK AND ALOOF.  SAD AND PISSED OFF WHEN MOST OTHERS WERE TRYING TO BE DISAFFECTED OR IRONIC.  THEY SEEM UNTOUCHED BY THE OCCASIONAL SELF-INDULGENCE OF SHOEGAZE OR THE STUDIO STERILITY OF MID-NINETIES ELECTRO.

HOOD WERE ALWAYS THE ADAMS BROTHERS, CHRIS AND RICHARD, AND WHATEVER HANDFUL OF FRIENDS THEY WERE WORKING WITH AT THE TIME (INCLUDING, AMONGST OTHERS, MATT ELLIOTT OF THIRD EYE FOUNDATION, THE LADS FROM THE REMOTE VIEWER AND NICOLA HODGKINSON OF EMPRESS).  ALTHOUGH THEY NEVER OFFICIALLY DISBANDED, THEIR LAST ALBUM WAS RELEASED IN 2005 TO CRITICAL ACCLAIM, BUT NEVER GREAT COMMERCIAL SUCCESS.  WE WOULD BE HARD-PRESSED TO PICK OUT A SINGLE ALBUM TO STAND AS OUR FAVORITE (PERHAPS SILENT ’88?) AMIDST THEIR LARGE AND LABEL-SCATTERED DISCOGRAPHY OF ‘STUDIO’ ALBUMS (6), SINGLES/EPs (20), AND COMPILATIONS (4).  WE CAN ONLY HOPE TO GIVE YOU THE IMPETUS TO INVESTIGATE FOR YOURSELVES ONE OF THE MOST PROLIFIC, ENGAGING AND, SADLY, UNDER-RATED BANDS OF ALL THE TRAGICALLY OVERLOOKED BANDS FROM, WHAT HAS BECOME FOR US,  A GOLDEN ERA OF BRITISH INDEPENDENT MUSIC.

ALAS, THERE MAY NOT BE NEW HOOD RECORDS BUT THE ADAMS BROTHERS ARE STILL MAKING MUSIC IN VARIOUS PROJECTS; RICHARD IN THE DECLINING WINTER [http://thedecliningwinter.bandcamp.com/] AND CHRIS IN MEMORY DRAWINGS.

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