Hood | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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Brothers Chris and Richard Adams formed Hood in 1990 as teenagers, plugging their one guitar into their dad's stereo and calling it a band. That ad hoc approach became the British band's early aesthetic: the rickety playing, tape hiss, and occasional lapses into scuzzy noise on their first recordings obscured their winsome melodies and the wounded idealism of their lyrics. But in recent years they've traded primitive productions in for technologically savvy ones. On Cold House (2001) the brothers paired clipped guitars with glitchy beats and digitally scrambled raps by Clouddead's Why? and Doseone, an interesting but erratically executed juxtaposition despite the airless mix. On the new Outside Closer (Domino), the Adamses have figured out how to better integrate their influences, and there are no overt techno or hip-hop moves. On "Any Hopeful Thoughts Arrive," for example, acoustic guitar and electronic rhythm loops interlock but leave plenty of breathing room for Chris's wistful voice and some lovely string melodies. And when gusts of guitar noise punch through a sped-up Robert Wyatt sample on the single "The Lost You," it's clear they haven't lost touch with their early taste for chaos. Hood tours of the U.S. are rare, and Richard Adams will sit out this one; Chris will be joined by keyboardist Gareth Brown, guitarist and woodwind player Mark Wright, and bassist Mark Simms. Zelienople and Morning Recordings open. Fri 3/18, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $10.

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