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saturday, march 30, 2002 • crocodile cafe, seattle wa • review & pics from janice

review: Holy fricking cow! To say this show was amazing is an understatement. Truly, truly, truly!!! The entire time I was watching Hood play, I had this sort-of exhilrated, almost breathless, feeling, and I couldn't stop thinking about how lucky I am to know about Hood, and how sad it is that more people don't know who they are. They're brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! And this show was a fabulous reminder of that.

Hood are five fellows from Leeds, the same hometown as our wonderful UK/NY correspondent, Andrew! (Hey you!) So, I really have Andrew to thank for introducing me to their songs. (Your "thank you" gift is in the mail...no, really!) Not to mention, Mike's former music project, Ashland, was heavily influenced by Hood's somber, lo-fi sound.

Well, holy cow, if the band hasn't left behind their more shambly, lo-fi, humble beginnings and emerged with something a little more sophisticated. I almost hate to say it, but... (cough) Radiohead (cough). Sort-of experimental, weird keyboard blips and noises in the background, Chris Adams' solemn, almost aching vocals layered over it all. And, can I just say, watching their drummer was nearly exhausting? He's amazing!!! Okay, I guess it's not too much different from some of their earlier works, like "Resonant 1942" from their 1996 full-length Silent '88. But where are the lo-fi recorded-with-one-mic songs like "The Fields Are Divided" from said album?! But, wait---what's this? Rappers????

Yup, apparently, on their last album (amazingly, we haven't bought it yet...), Hood collaborated with tourmates cLOUDDEAD, two hip-hop rappers who go by the names Dose One and Why?. On a few songs, the boys came up on stage with Hood and did their rhymes. For one of the songs, they even acted the lyrics out with hand motions! (i.e. making "clawing" motions with their hands while singing about "Tiii-gers", something I've been doing around the house to make Mike laugh lately.) And I thought it was nice that when they weren't singing, Dose One and Why? would crouch down respectfully, as to not take anymore attention away from Hood. I thought that was really, really nice. Until, one of the rappers almost rammed his microphone stand into my head!!! : ( Grrrrr..... (He was still holding on to the mic when he crouched down...) I'll show you "tiii-gers", my friend....

To further illustrate how much their sound has changed, they closed their set with an oldie from Silent '88, and it truly stood out from their set. Earlier, the songs were very polished, very precise. Even sparse moments of silence were utilized with precision. (I wish I could pinpoint which song that was in, but like I said, we haven't picked up the new CD yet...) But when they kicked into "The Field is Cut", it was total 90's indie, with fierce strumming, half-talking/half-shouting vocals and that bleak sort-of sound that Mike and Andrew first fell in love with years ago. (Deep sigh!) What an amazing show!