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- Haunt The Upper Hallways by The Declining Winter
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Haunt the Upper Hallways marks the return of The Declining Winter and introduces, what I assume to be an innovative new release format. 'Haunt the upper hallways' is ten tracks spread over a 7" and a CD. Certainly a cool way of providing plenty of content without pfaffing about trying to find an affordable MP3 download service provider. I like this format a lot oi tell thee. You've got a nice rekkid for home use and a less expensive product you can lend to your pals or play in your vehicle on your way to wherever....it's versatile see! Now the single (mini-album?? i don't know) is totally mint and fully in keeping with what I'd expect from one half of the brothers Hood.
I've not heard the first Declining Winter release so it'll be hard to draw comparisons and evaluate their progress so far but i'm really taken by what I've been exposed to so far. The first three tracks that make up the 7" single element of this release remind of my favorite period of Hood and sits somewhere between 'Rustic Houses....' and 'Cycle of days and seasons' with occasional nods towards 'Silent '88'. Obviously, these two projects have alot in common and I'm please to hear that Richard has taken a more organic approach that can be easily replicated live. Familiar sounds are present here, an unmistakable bass playing style that sounds like a lo-fi Hooky type thing, an unmistakable (almost) hip-hop groove to the drum rhythms and some nifty use of violins (or perhaps viola? I'll have to ask) to add texture and atmosphere.
These familiar elements are accompanied by Richard's strangely hushed vocal lullaby's. I'm surprised he didn't do more singing in Hood as he sounds really good, I couldn't tell you what he is singing about but his tone perfectly suits the arrangements. The CD portion of the release is slightly more experimental in it's song formats. These tracks are generally sparse and sketch book like with much shorter arrangements and less emphasis on vocal hooks etc. 'Red Brick House' is a particularly good example of how the Adams brothers make songs that sound ace in both directions (in this case reversed!). 'Where the severn rivers thread' has a great groove and an awesome organ sound and 'Goodbye lights LS28' is an eerie yet uplifting little outburst. I could go on and on in detail but you get the idea, it's well good!
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