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Home Is Where It Hurts by Hood (Review)

Home Is Where It Hurts contains a healthy dose of the band’s intriguing blend of melancholia, autumnal sounds, and pastoral post-rock.

Considering that Hood have been churning out damaged lo-fi pop music for nearly a decade, it’s somewhat surprising that they’re post-whatever approach to music can still be so interesting. If you’ve never heard Hood before, this is as good a place as any, simply because it does a fine job of pairing their earlier sound with a few new twists. Although not necessarily as absorbing as their previous albums, like The Cycle of Days and Seasons, Home Is Where It Hurts still contains a healthy dose of the band’s intriguing blend of melancholia, autumnal sounds, and pastoral post-rock.

I knew that Hood has gone through quite a few interesting musical metamorphoses throughout their career, but I must admit that the damaged drum machine on the title track threw me for a loop. But once the other instruments chimed in, along with Hood’s familiar vocals (which sound either really breathy or partly out of tune, and usually both), I knew I couldn’t be listening to anything else.

The Fact That You Failed” (another example of Hood’s propensity for upbeat song titles) may be the best example of what Hood can really accomplish. A slow-burning instrumental, the song just sort of sits there and collects sonic debris for the first few minutes. But the last remaining seconds are deluged in a writhing wall of feedback that sounds completely vicious when compared to how the song began, and very nearly beats Mogwai at their own game too. The first time I listened to this at work, I was afraid my little computer speakers were going to rattle right out of their cases. In fact, I think they may be permanently damaged.

Although Hood’s music has always shown an affection for the likes of Bark Psychosis and Disco Inferno, ​“The World Touches Too Hard” also shows that the Hood boys have quite a taste for glitch-ridden electronica, à la Oval or Pan-American. Those little electronic gurgles and bleeps, when combined with a dour piano melody and lightly strummed guitar, make this the EP’s standout track. The EP’s closer, ​“It’s Been A Long Time Since I Was Last Here,” is an epic piece in the grand Hood tradition, and shows Hood’s skillful use of restraint and layering.

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