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  Home Is Where It Hurts  
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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 American audience.

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! Hood will...

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 nice effect.

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. Now.

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