February 27, 2006

Why? "Rubber Traits"

Last year, Why? released their best work to date, Elephant Eyelash. It's an amazing record, and it's been the gateway release for a larger audience. For those who might like a further taste--or simply need a good introduction--the brief Rubber Traits might satisfy your needs. This four-song single, released on Anticon, contains three previously unreleased tracks, and though Why? has a history of excellent EP's, Rubber Traits feels a little thin. Don't worry, though, because there's magic to be found. As one would expect, the mellow "Rubber Traits" is a sublime yet lovely affair, but the three additional numbers certainly aren't slack. "Dumb Hummer" starts off with some tribal percussion--shakers, sticks, and bongo--but it then shifts into a beautiful, kaleidoscopic number that blends hip-hop lyrical acumen with gentle guitars and swirling keyboards. Though a b-side, by no means is it lesser material. Up next is "Pick Fights," a quite brief yet wonderfully succinct rhyme about touring. Set to a slow, morose piano melody, main Why? man Yoni Wolf delivers his tale of being in a parking lot where "the boys drink courage and the girls show their navels and toes, " in a voice that could, at best, be refered to as lethargic. The final track, "Decieved," is the only weak moment on the record, with Wolf and company throwing out lines over a hip-hop backing track. Though it might not be as cohesive an EP as Sanddollars, this is a fun, enjoyable EP in its own right.

Listen To: "Rubber Traits"

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