See, this is why you have to be careful when you name your band. Up until now, I never listened to Say Hi To Your Mom. Why? Because I don't like jokes and, more importantly, I don't like things that are jokey. And what's jokier than naming your band 'Say Hi to Your Mom'? Nothing. Except maybe naming your band 'Give Yourself a Ham. 'And to hell with old adages about books and covers — nobody but nobody is going to listen to a band called Give Yourself a Ham. So now the New York group (essentially frontman Eric Elbogen & assorted others) is just called Say Hi, and I feel like a heel for passing them over for this long. Because these songs are terrific: clattering indiepop, edges unsanded, pleading young-man voice at the center of them. They're almost too effortless; "Northwestern Girls" is like miniature Cars, the zooming pink synth line sunk down bite-sized, the guitars brittle as twigs and Elbogen's voice straining against its limits to get that high note on "aaaiiirrr." "Back Before We Were Brittle" is one big palpitation, the earnest hook slung over a boulder-bag of drums. Is it the change of name that changed my perspective? Or have I just been dumbly missing such charming music for so many years?
By Corey duBrowa on 03.03.09 in Reviews
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