Why? – Elephant Eyelash (Anticon/Stomp)


It seems like all the alt-hip-hoppers these days are going all indie on our asses — see Themselves working with the Notwist on 13 & God (with a brilliant lyric donated by Why?), see Cex and Buck65’s recent output and so on. But we should remember that Dose & Why?’s indie cred has been secure ever since they both appeared on Hood’s Cold House LP in 2001, where their sing-song style was almost more melodic than the host band.
Elephant Eyelash follows on from Why?’s Sanddollars EP, and features precious little that could be considered rapping at all (except perhaps for the lyrics themselves). But even if it has nothing as immediately catchy as the EP’s “Mutant John”, the album is pleasingly full to the brim with inventive full band arrangements, lots of fun studio trickery, and best of all, great tunes.
On first listen, I was only really taken by a couple of songs on this album, but the seeming sameness of some of the songs is distilled out on further listens. There’s more subtlety here than might initially seem, and then as you focus more on the details, beautiful quirks in the songwriting and harmonies poke into your consciousness. And those rolling piano lines…
If the American accent and cute/clever lyrics recall They Might Be Giants in parts, that’s nothing to be ashamed of, and indeed fans of the fun and anthemic side of indie from the last 20 years (hell, the fun side of rock for the past 40) will find themselves in a comfortingly familiar place. Others may find the level of coy self-reference a bit much, but I say stuff ’em and open your ears to the psychedelic sounds of Why?!


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Radio broadcaster - Utility Fog on FBi. Cellist - FourPlay String Quartet. Web administrator, editor, reviewer, sporadic blogger, science fiction fan, bicycle rider...

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