Cold House

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Moving closer to their goal of blending beep-and-click electronica with the exotic tunefulness of space rock, Cold House is a cold and delicate examination of isolation. Hood creates unique and interesting variations on melodies while taking dirty, lo-fi beats to carry them. The guitar work is extremely minimal, drawing attention to the thin and frightened vocals that seem to haunt the songs more than take part in them. The dark and droning "They Removed All Trace That Anything Had Ever Happened Here" is a beautiful shuffle that begins the disc with an urgency that plays off of the band's natural melancholy. "This Is What We Do to Sell Out(s)" is a manic, ambitious collection of beats that contains some of the most depressed vocals this side of Codeine. But Hood's unique burps and skips are at their best on "The River Curls Around the Town," where everything stutters and stops without warning, parts of the song just start to go backwards, and the guitar part jumps from channel to channel while horns play in the background. Drummer Stephen Royle is the hidden weapon on this album; the music revolves around his phenomenal pounding in a graceful battle of rhythm and atmosphere. Although Hood sounded like this long before Radiohead experimented with electronica, Cold House is the next step toward the icy-cold future of alternative rock that Kid A forecasted. Like any good experimental rock album, this may take time to grow on a casual listener. But it's a rewarding experience to hear bands like this break and bend the boundaries of modern pop and twist it into their own glitch-filled vision.

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