Why? Elephant Eyelash

As anticon. has proven time and time again, you can’t simply throw one of its acts into a genre and be confident that you’ve made the right decision. Why? are one of the label’s most perplexing acts with more crossovers in one track than Allen Iverson in an average game. Led by Yoni Wolf, who’s joined by brother Josiah on all things drums and Doug McDiarmid on everything that Yoni isn’t operating, Why? meet the middle ground of so many different styles it becomes a game keeping track of all the new facets to the band introduced by each song. Elephant Eyelash follows up 2003’s excellent Oaklandazurasylum with its head held high and its first foot planted deep in hip-hop. Although everything from the lo-fi indie manoeuvres of Pavement, Beatles pop and the lazy beatscapes of cLOUDDEAD (another of Yoni’s projects) burrow their way into the Why? design, it’s Yoni’s distinct interpretation of rhyming that adds the "hop” to whatever you want to throw in front of it: "hip,” "indie,” "folk,” "emo,” etc. "Waterfall” edges into Animal Collective’s psych-folk fantasy to blur things further; "Act Five” does a much better job of representing Buck 65’s canon than Rich Terfry himself of late; and "Light Leaves” abandons everything for a sparkling dramatic pop tune that climbs until it collapses into a fatigued coda. Whatever the hell you want to call it, Elephant Eyelash is a skilfully planned record that despite its rootless complexities makes for some easy listening. (Anticon)