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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
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No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Say Hi To Your Mom
Ferocious Mopes
Euphobia Music

Rating: 6/10 ?

July 15, 2005
Recently Ferocious Mopes received a less than glowing review on Pitchforkmedia.com. In response, Eric Elbogen, the man behind the bedroom pop project Say Hi to Your Mom, wrote a allegorical response involving lions and bunnies laying golden eggs and emailed it to the review author; he also posted it on his website. The letter, in all its meandering and time consuming glory, essentially defended Elbogen's own creation,and pretty much called the writer a pompous, pretentious craphead. Besides being slightly amusing, the letter also attempted to justify the merit of Say Hi's artistic statement and served as a preemptive rebuttal to any future negative criticism Ferocious Mopes might encounter. An artist should feel compelled to defend his own output, but unfortunately Ferocious Mopes is just not a stellar album.

Lest anyone think that I just don't like bedroom pop, dork lo-fi rock, or even the cut of Elbogen's jib, let me offer this: Say Hi to Your Mom's last album was good; I will even add that it included two fucking awesome pop songs, "Let's Talk about Spaceships" and "Hooplas involving Circus Tricks." Being capable of writing such effective quirky rockers raised my expectations of this album. However, on Ferocious Mopes there is a serious lack of memorable songs.

The album kicks off with the mid tempo fuzzy pop of "The 22nd Century" and follows with "The Death of Girl Number Two." The latter track successfully combines some electronic sounds and the distortion dripped riffs of Elbogen's guitar. While it starts with promise, note that the first two tracks are the best on the album; placing them as tracks one and two only serves the purpose of illuminating the album's faults. After hearing the pair, I awaited more tracks that reached or exceeded their heights - unfortunately, they never came. What you have are two pretty good songs alongside eight others that range from mediocre to forgettable.

It becomes obvious just how apt a title Ferocious Mopes is for the album; for the lion's share of the time, Elbogen offers sullen pop, and even when singing a song about being in love with an android, a ridiculous prospect indeed, Elbogen's off key whisper carries the weight of sadness and self pity. A bittersweet song about death, real life relationships, hang nails - those I accept - but moping in a quirky ode to robot love? It does not work for me.

In the past, Say Hi to Your Mom has proven Eric Elbogen's potential to do some great things with a minimal budget and few frills. However, this time around, Ferocious Mopes doesn't offer enough infectious melodies to balance the mostly-lackluster, sullen pop songs.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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