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Hood - The Lost You EP

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Artist: Hood

Album: The Lost You EP

Label: Domino

Review date: Feb. 13, 2005

A decade or more past, when Hood was a teenaged lo-fi outfit, it was easy for them to promiscuously pursue their affection for short-form releases. Nowadays the release schedule has slowed a bit, and the Leeds-based combo is staring Next Big Thing status in the eye.

This EP serves notice that they’re not blinking. But it also reaffirms their aptitude for putting together little records that make marks of their own. The title song, included here in both audio and video formats, is one of the most immediate moments on their imminent Outside Closer album. “The Lost You” revisits the enduring Hood theme of struggling against disillusion, and it pairs them with a new partner in melancholy — Robert Wyatt. It’s built on a sample from the chorus from “Gharbzadegi,” a song on Wyatt’s Thatcher-era album Old Rottenhat, sped up so that the original’s gentleness becomes urgent and undeniable. Singer Chris Adams wreathes his own tale of disappointment around Wyatt’s voice, then the band forces the song to the ground with ox-goring feedback thrusts.

Advertisement out of the way, Hood proceeds at a quirky tangent with four more EP-only songs that take in hung-over digital psychedelia, ambient atmospherics, and sweet pop songcraft. But it’s the last song that, I predict, will put their kids through school. “Over the Land Over the Sea” first layers moody clarinets over a crisp, Four Tet-like rural hip-hop beat. Then a munchkin chant surfaces from the depths of the groove, setting the stage for longtime Hood associate Nicola Hodgkinson to volley a worldless wail over sparkling plucked strings. Boil this thing down and it could be the soundtrack to a fiber optics advertisement or a car commercial.

By Bill Meyer

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