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, a 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.