Eskimo Snow (Anticon)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Nov. 6, 2009
Why?Eskimo Snow (Anticon)
With last year's Alopecia, Why? launched back onto the indie landscape with a cross-pollinated genre collapse contorted into an infectious amalgam of hip-hop, pop, and art-punk that trailed Yoni Wolf's Clouddead wake and somehow gelled in spite of itself. The Oakland-based trio's third LP for Anticon and fourth overall serves somewhat as Alopecia's more intimate and darker coda, recorded in the same 2007 sessions with Fog's Andrew Broder and Mark Erickson. Though the tunes propel with the same unshackled, constantly shifting, and off-kilter rhythms and vocals, Eskimo Snow never wanders as far afield, while largely avoiding Wolf's art-rap proclivities. "I know saying all this in public should make me feel funny," Wolf screams on "Into the Shadows of My Embrace," and much of the album is intimately uncomfortable but still cut with a darkly sardonic humor introduced by opener "These Hands." Though not as readily exciting as Alopecia, Eskimo Snow is more accessible without compromising. (Sunday, 3:50pm, Orange Stage.)
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