Review: The Declining Winter – Scenes From The Back Bedroom Window

As a member of Hood, Richard Adams has played a major part in leading a group of British artists who bring the sounds of the environment in to their music, whilst also incorporating hip-hop and electronica in to their peculiarly brilliant vision. With Hood still on hiatus, Adams has led The Declining Winter through a couple of albums and singles which have even encompassed an alternative (and pretty decent) World Cup theme. ‘Scenes From The Back Bedroom Window’ is their latest EP and one which epitomises Adams’ skills and wilfully subervise approach to music.

The EP begins with doomy church organ straight from the Talk Talk school of misery as Adams sighs dejectedly. It’s a strange choice for a lead-off track since what comes after it is far more involving. As you’d expect from its title, ‘Killer’ is a instrumental that demands to be noticed. Adams sings in a distant whisper but the distorted guitars circle round in hypnotic fashion. ‘Nobody Else’ features the rustic-sounding guitars which will be familiar to those who have appreciated Hood’s Northern take on post-rock over the years. This leaves the despairing ‘Rachel’; a song so tender and sad and reminiscent of July Skies at his lovelorn best.

‘Scenes…’ takes the unusual step of each track being better than the last one. However, since The Declining Winter don’t have the pressure of front-loading their releases, this is a good move as the listener gets rewarded the more he/she listens. Best of all, Adams proves that rather than distancing himself from his parent band, he celebrates those influences to produce a brief but moving selection.

Web Sites:
The Declining Winter Official Site
The Declining Winter MySpace
Secret Furry Hole Label Shop Page

Further Listening:
Hood, July Skies

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