Still recognisably Hood, but incorporating new sounds into their bleak palette, 'Cold House' signals a new direction for this Yorkshire band. The old characteristics are still resident: vocals from depressed students, mournful strings and subtle, sombre guitar lines but now, almost unfathomably, they embrace rap culture and breakbeats. This is an odd and largely untested route to take (although Lisp's unfairly ignored 'Cycles' debut from 2000 certainly had a decent stab at this) but it thankfully pays off. 'You Show No Emotion At All' and 'Branches Bare' possess all the compulsive queasiness and claustrophobia of yore but by being more open to electronica it can only serve to widen their appeal. The downside is 'I Can't Find My Brittle Youth', an unnecessary return to their earlier, more amateurish work. Thankfully on the last two tracks the Adams Brothers and co. remind us of what they do best; misery-tinged jazz-influenced rock of the highest order. New direction or not, 'Cold House' proves that Hood are the masters of soundtracks to rainy Sundays.