Feb 19 2013

Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom


20130211 154727  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

Cougar writer Thom offers his top ten albums for our Top albums of 2012 feature.

chairlift something  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

Chairlift -’Something

Included in the Cougar Microbes albums of 2012 here.

why mumps etc  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

WHY? -’Mumps, ETC

Included in the Cougar Microbes albums of 2012 here.

Passion Pit Gossamer  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

Passion Pit – ‘Gossamer

Included in the Cougar Microbes albums of 2012 here.

django django  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

Django Django -’Django Django

Included in the Cougar Microbes albums of 2012 here.

  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

Jack White – ‘Blunderpuss

Included in the Cougar Microbes albums of 2012 here.

20130211 191758  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

Dirty Projectors -’Swing Lo Magellan

  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

Maps & Atalases -’Beware and be Grateful

Included in the Cougar Microbes albums of 2012 here.

   Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

The XX – ‘Coexist

Included in the Cougar Microbes albums of 2012 here.

20130211 191810  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

Poliça -’Give You the Ghost

Hot Chip In Our Heads  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

Hot Chip – ‘In Our Heads

Included in the Cougar Microbes albums of 2012 here.

topalbums2012  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

doublecougar  Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2012: Thom

 


Jan 12 2013

Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2012: WHY? – Mumps, Etc

why mumps etc Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2012: WHY?   Mumps, Etc

With their baroque/indie/folk leanings and sardonic rap-like witticism is safe to say WHY? are an oddity in today’s musical landscape. The much awaited ‘Mumps, Etc is a first outing since the delicate instrumentations of 2009′s excellent  ‘Eskimo Snow.

While that album remains an absolute pleasure it did signal a slight detour from the sound we had associated with the Californian 3 piece right from their debut. WHY? have definitely not sacrificed their new found pop sensibilities yet  ‘Mumps, Etc‘ displays enough bite to be considered a kindred spirit to their 2008 breakout album ‘Alopecia.

Thom included them in his top-10 explaining “Sometimes words can carry a track on their own and Yoni Wolf‘s lyrics are the sociological poetry of every thoughtful and intelligent down and out. But this record obviously isn’t a poetry reading and WHY?‘s musicianship on ‘Mumps, Etc.‘ is still as exciting, genre-twisting and gritty as their diamond in the rough debut ‘Oaklandazulasylum‘ way back in 2003“.

topalbums2012 Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2012: WHY?   Mumps, Etc

TRACKS:

badge itunes lrg Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2012: WHY?   Mumps, Etc

doublecougar Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2012: WHY?   Mumps, Etc


Dec 21 2012

WHY? ‘Mumps, Etc.’ reviewed

why mumps etc WHY? Mumps, Etc. reviewed
WHY? are an exultation of larks being shot down with a shotgun. Beautiful melodies, being trounced upon with irresistable beats and soulful yet dirty words.

WHY? are a band that I think it is impossible to be bored with. Possibly one of the most underrated bands out there. A curious mix of analogue and electronic instruments mixed with punchy and catchy bass parts and of course frontman Yoni Wolf‘s inspired, confessional and sociological genius.

Mumps, Etc.‘ is the follow up to 2009′s excellent ‘Eskimo Snow. It fuses the best bits from that album’s folk inspired rap and the grit and darkness from the band’s previous gem album ‘Alopecia‘. Potentially this is the three piece’s most self aware and confessional album with Wolf taking on everything from the misfortune of being thirty plus, being in a touring band and male pattern balding (you read that right)

tracks such as “Paper Hearts“, “Waterlines” and “Bitter Thoughts” convey  how extremely accomplished the band are as musicians writing inspired classical, folk and world music pieces that are accompanied by slow or upbeat pop rhythms that they have reigned in so well, you wondered how this was unique blend was never really thought of before.

I would go as far as to say that the song “Sod In The Seed” has the greatest and most challenging, thought provoking lyrics of any other WHY? song and covers more ground than most other band’s songs do anyway. The wordplay has become so busy in time signature and tight in delivery, lines like “Who am I to judge a mans heart by his yacht wear?” prove Yoni‘s observant and thoughtful style but blast out like a smack in the face to sober you up from your useless daydreaming.

Strawberries” starts like a 1950′s doo-wop song but comes to life in a way that only indie cacophony that is a WHY? song can with swooping xylophone melodies and anthemic lo-fi drum and bass parts and anti-rock star sentiment. Yet again thought it is the lyrics that shine through as utterly original and sound like they would look as beautiful in a bound book – “Itching like an intern with a sunburn, for what a stone unturned covers, I don’t wear rubbers and I don’t werar sunscreen,I want to heat my hide not hide under something“.

I’ll leave you with the line that I couldn’t decipher but sounds just a good without knowing: “From the backs of tent flyers in pen, the guilt-racked liar pretends to confess.

More band’s should take risks like WHY?

—–

Post by TR Wicks

—–

TRACKS:

badge itunes lrg WHY? Mumps, Etc. reviewed

doublecougar WHY? Mumps, Etc. reviewed