Hood - Outside Closer
Hood are a four piece from Leeds, and Outside Closer is a determinedly low-key effort, perhaps best described as 'rural'. This is backed up on the sleeve by photos of trees in various seasons, of wilderness and the elements intruding.
Despite the occasional use of samples and beats, a clarinet or violin is never far away, and the atmosphere is one of mystery and unease. End of One Train Working, the album's standout track, best represents this with a sort of campfire quality, the addictive handclaps a nice counterpoint to lyrics such as "Where is the morning light?/ Where is the hope I had?". Winter 72 sounds like a man lost in a forest; echoing vocals amongst tumultuous drums and occasional guitar squall.
More commercial reference points might be Blur's Think Tank or the work of Mercury Rev. However, Outside Closer is so downbeat that likely only the most patient listener will be rewarded.