Title: Sod In The Seed
Record Label: City Slang
Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf is quite the prolific chap, his outfit WHY? have churned out five studio albums, two live albums, countless CD-Rs and eight EPs including their latest output, Sod In The Seed. I guess Yoni never sleeps.
With this latest record WHY? are straddling their hip-hop styled indie rock with fairly pleasing results. The six tracker has two bookend songs that demonstrates Yoni’s rapping style which is somewhere in-between E from Eels and comedy rap misogynist Jon Lajoie, luckily this EP doesn’t slip into bragging about sex acts that Yoni has learnt in China! Yoni’s rhyming flows over the top of organic arrangements as opposed to anonymous studio induced beats and glitches making for an interesting take on rap. The title track which opens the record skips along on subtle basslines and persistent percussion strikes, underpinned by a sturdy drumbeat. This track captures Yoni reflecting on modern life as the chorus states “I’ll never shirk this first world curse/a steady hurt and sturdy purse”. Yoni is known for his abstract lyrics but this time around he appears direct and concise in his subject matter. The end of the record, as already mentioned, finds Yoni rapping again, even if the beginning of ‘Shag Carpet’ does sound like the Glee rendition of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ with it’s random chanted vocal harmonies but that’s where the stage school crap comparisons end thankfully, worry not.
The tracks at the centre of Sod In The Seed float by almost unnoticed, the instrumentation isn’t dissimilar throughout the EP and Yoni’s vocals are half spoken/half sung which doesn’t quite grab you as much as his nerd rap vocal style does. The issue being the opening and closing of the record illustrates an outfit having fun while sounding a little unpredictable, where as the centre of Sod In The Seed doesn’t hit the same mark.
Sod In The Seed is a solid effort by WHY? illustrating a quirky amalgamation of hip hop and indie, however hip hop seems to be where WHY? should focus on with their future work.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams