Hood have always shown a willingness to experiment but it was still quite a surprise to see one of Yorkshire's premier miserablist outifts team up with cutting edge hip-hop stars Dose One and Why?. Having said that, it's a credit to the skills of both parties that the end product was frequently excellent. Stylistically, 'Outside Closer' could be referred to as a back to basics album; the rainy day rock of 'End Of One Train Waiting' and 'Closure' would have found space on 1999's 'The Cycle Of Days And Seasons' but there's an accessibility to a few of the tracks here which suggests there's a wider audience out there for them. These qualities are fully on show for the first two singles ('The Negatives', 'The Lost You') if listeners could learn to appreciate Hood's unique woozy vocal harmonies. Hood have always acknowledged Bark Psychosis and Talk Talk as an influence and although 'Winter 72' features echoes of both those bands, that song is a little confused compared to 'Still Rain Fell' where the mournful sketching is fitted into a conventional verse-chorus structure. Yet this fine band reach their peak on 'Any Hopeful Thoughts Arrive'; blessed with a brilliant guitar pattern that encircles the brain before it lodges deep inside never to be forgotten. And as a muted trumpet fades into the distance on the closing song, it is hoped that its title 'This Is It Forever' does not prove prophetic.