This is a review of "The Negatives...." recorded by Hood. The review was written by Gavin Miller in 2005.
According to pretty much every review I read for Hood’s latest LP ‘Outside Closer’, it’s a very summery record, full of twee acoustic sounds, lovely glittering soundscapes and a general feel of upbeat loveliness. Well, for once they seem to be dead right.
‘The Negatives....’ is a beautiful piece of work, full of sampled strings, pumping, thumping beats and some more drowsily melancholic vocals from lead singer Chris Adams. It’s all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows in the typical Hood mould of gorgeous instrumentation, with snippets of acoustic guitar buzzing around flutes, accordions, sampled vocals and lots of hazy tones. In short, it’s lovely and perfectly suited to a release in summer. All you need now is a paddling pool and a can of beer and you’re sorted.
The two tracks that back the single are the vocal led ‘Squint In The First Light of Day’ and ‘The Sad Decline of Home’. The former’s bombastic drums and weird, and maybe a little creepy vocal samples being cut up is somehow halfway between the stark wintery ‘Cold House’ album, and the more recent summery effort ‘Outside Closer’. Maybe this is from the aborted ‘Autumn’ album or something, I don’t know, but it’s a nice little track, but you can see why they left it off the album, as its sinister leanings make it a bit of a hard listen.
The latter drifts by on a languid acoustic backdrop, helped along by more barely conscious vocals that float eerily through the guitars and keys also on offer. Again, it’s a nice little tune, and less creepy that the song it follows.
If you have yet to discover Hood’s beautiful sounds yet, then this is a decent enough place to start. Bouncy and joyful, it should easily be the soundtrack to anyone’s summer.