Eric Elbogen Achieves Quiet Buzz as ‘Say Hi to Your Mom’
Say Hi to Your Mom’s new album ‘Ferocious Mopes’ is an interesting mix of indie pop, ranging from the slightly ambient mellow rock that has seems to be on the rise to more upbeat indie bar-rock, all packaged together by some of the best song names ever.
The fact is that this band has the quirky smartass image down to a science, from the band name to the album name to the lyrics and their merchandise. For further examples, see their FAQ at www.sayhitoyourmom. com, which best represents the band’s quick wit.
Now, like so many bands these days, we refer to Say Hi to Your Mom like it is a collective effort, when I really should be more specific. Say Hi is Eric Elbogen, who recorded the almost the entire album in his Brooklyn apartment, minus some drum tracks. The North Hollywood native has since made this his headquarters for recording before going out on tour.
To continue Elbogen’s DIY-ness, the album is put on his own label, Euphoria Records, which was created solely to put out his own music. Though this trend is increasing, this road is definitely the one less traveled as far as the music industry goes. It usually displays the mark of self-motivated alterative artists who don’t want to conform to the established label system.
‘Ferocious Mopes’ (2005) is Say Hi’s third album following ‘Numbers and Mumbles’ (2004) and ‘Discosadness’ (2002). ‘Ferocious’ is Say Hi’s most interesting album to date, the signature inde-fuzz sound is well developed, complemented by soft-spoken vocals and intelligent lyrics, which switch from the quirk wit to elegant melancholy.
Positive press and college radio play has put the Brooklyn band in a moderate spot in the indie spotlight. They landed a spot on three weeks of Nada Surf’s upcoming tour.
The album opens with the upbeat fuzz-rock track ‘The Twenty- Second Century.’ A strong opening, this track sets the mood for the rest of the album. The stage is also set lyrically in this song: ‘Don’t ever say that we’ll never get there / we can start with our jars of coins / we’ll build space suits made out of silver / we’ll find a rocket in the rocket graveyard.’
The third track ‘The Forest Scares The Hell Out Of Me,’ builds on the sound, going even a bit darker with a bass-driven groove. The lyrics take a turn for the melodramatic. ‘And as long as you don’t fall into the cracks in the road / you’ll make it home. / The trees here might be green but their hearts are black as black can ever be.’ The mood of the song matches the lyrical turn nicely.
The next track, ‘Yeah, I’m In Love With Android’ steps back from the darker previous track and exemplifies the mellower side of the album. This softer track features only Eldogen’s voice and guitar, a lullaby almost, depicting a modern love affair with an robot. Eldogen sings, ‘The neighbors are an odd bunch and they’re too inquistitive. / They don’t like heavy metal / or the type she shacks up with / But I swore I’m done with humans and I like to keep my word.’
The rest of the album fluctuates between these three emotional curves: upbeat-fuzz mellow, dark mellow, and soft mellow. Eldogen’s voice never peaks in volume. His voice’s off-key quality adds a dramatic element that is farily common in mellow indie-rock. Say Hi’s vocal imperfection matches nicely with the lyrics, adding an element of a flawed character to complement Eldoben’s cynicism and wit.
The album is fairly consistent and will please early fans all throughout. The great song names also continue with ‘Recuring Motifs In Hisorical Flirtings’ and my personal favorite, ‘As Smart As Geek Is Chic Right Now.’
Any fans of mellow indie fuzzrock, whatever that means to you, should definitely check this CD out. Say Hi will most likely have a very specific audience, but they have a bright future in this crowd. Say Hi To Your Mom is coming to Los Angeles on Oct. 22 at the El Ray Theatre with Nada Surf.