I don't think I can deny any longer that Why?'s Alopecia
is a major step. This Yoni Wolf character capitalizes on a gap that thousands of shitty alt-"rappers" have ignored altogether and succeeds on two numbingly obvious fronts: he's a nerd who commands melodies! and details! Alopecia
is so stuffed with striking, visual non-sequiturs and phrases turning one another inside out that in structure it resembles a damn Hold Steady record. Don't let anyone feed you that Odelay
garbage. Like Against Me!'s equally image-shattering New Wave,
this couldn't have been made in an emo-free existence, and I'd like to forward Wolf a Clem Snide album, too. And excepting "As a kid I didn't shit my pants much/ why start now," "By Torpedo or Crohn's" has so many strokes redolent of Buck 65 it has me working up some prayers for a cross-country jaunt in the future.
Maybe even more than The Big Dough Rehab
, Wolf's can't-stop-won't-stop phlegm-phlow paints every last breath with a correctly pitched syllable, enunciated with only the finest of post-Weakerthans nerdcore dialects. I don't see myself ever giving a shit about Anticon as a rap stronghold. But pop? If they keep putting out such winning resemblances to say, an alt-country They Might Be Giants ("Fatalist Palmistry") or P.Diddy's idea of Steve Reich ("A Sky For Shoeing Horses Under") I might have to take their mailing list seriously. The cLOUD is dead, long live the cLOUD. A-