Thursday, November 5, 2009

Closing Out The Decade: Hood - Cold House (2001)

I wrested with the idea of coming up with a list for the AGP's favorite releases of the last 10 years. After some serious back and forth, I made the decision that the last thing we need is another list. Instead we will feature some of the albums that have made a lasting impact on us. These are the albums that we told our friends to buy, annoyed our spouses with, and ultimately inspired us to launch this blog.

From now until the end of December The AGP will feature our favorite albums of the decade. Each week we will feature posts highlighting our favorite albums of the 00's. We will even have a few contributions from the AGP's extended family. We invite your comments, we want to know why you agree with us or perhaps why you think we're off our collective rockers.

We hope you'll join us as we take a look back at the albums that shaped the past 3,653 days our lives.

Formed in Leeds, England in the winter of 1990. Hood have released 9 records on a variety of different labels, including Domino, Aesthetics, and Mispalced Music. The band has been on a long term hiatus since just after the release of Outside Closer in 2005. While band members have been actively releasing music with their own bands including but not limited to founding members Richard and Chris Adams projects The Declining Winter and Bracken respectively. Hood's absence over the past four and half years has been a hard pill to swallow. A band that defies categorization by blending styles and instrumentation from track to track. From IDM to Post-Rock to Shoegaze to Experimental. The band at one-time described themselves as lo-fidelity avant pop. Regardless of classification, Hood's recorded work from the early limited vinyl singles to their (at this point) final record, is nothing short of impressive.

In November of 2001 Hood hit what I would call their high water mark with the release of Cold House. An album of excellent songs, beautiful arrangements, and flourishes of glitchy electronics for one of the most innovative releases of the past decade. It also features the brilliant collaboration between Hood and MC's Why? and Dose One from San Francisco's Anticon Collective and Clouddead. I flipped out as soon as I heard this record. It was like nothing I had ever heard before or since for that matter. For example take the opening track They Removed All Trace That Anything Had Ever Happened Here, with it's big beats, violins, acoustic guitars and Chris Adams fragile vocals, it's pretty close to perfection and that's just the albums jumping off point. In 2001 Hood seemed destined to be one of the biggest bands in the world. Alas that was not to be but what they did do is cement themselves as one of the most creative and exciting bands I'd ever heard and I anxiously await their return.

Almost nine years later and Cold House still sounds as inspired as it did that fall afternoon I drove home from the record store with my jaw on the floor. A truly stunning album.


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