21 September 2010

Hood - the hood tapes (2005)

This is probably the most rare album of the Hood discography, a CDR release, only available at gigs and briefly on one or another mail-order. It features recordings from 2004-2005. The sound quality is mainly lo-fi, closer to their beginnings than their late discography.

Listening to this album, you get the idea it seems to be almost a project of Chris Adams alone, alone in his bedroom / playroom. The songwriting is more melancholic, more direct, personal, intense and intimate. It is Hood as a solo project and the links with Disco Inferno are here very prominent and the mood is even darker, honestly sometimes not so far from S or Havergal.

I think it is almost my favorite side of Hood. If you forget the lo-fi imperfections, half of these songs are just incredibly clever, disturbing and moving. 

“The Hurting World” is the highlight, and the way the end of the song is brutally cut is as frustrating as clever. “When we'll wait all the table” could be a Disco Inferno lost hit. “Driven Out the Angry Villager” is like an ode to the long gone New Zealand kiwi scene days, from the Jefferies brothers discography to the indie rock of The Clean. “But I was only a bystander” develops a shoegazer nostalgia similar to what Spoonfed Hybrid did.

“This year's first storm” has got the atmospheric melancholic qualities of the first Movietone records. "Winter Politics" has got one foot in the late era Hood discography and the other ones in the Bracken field. “Sad Neck?” is another gem, similar to the introvert intimate explorations of Cakekitchen, but even better with ethereal qualities borrowed to the This Mortal Coil aesthetics.  There is something from the darkness of Third Eye Foundation on “None of the Above” mixed with the usual climatic brilliance of Hood.

“The Hood Tapes” is a complex, uneasy, but very intense and tasteful record, featuring traces and sediments of all their musical mythology.

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