A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Newswire TV Club
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Why?: Eskimo Snow

B-

Why?

Album: Eskimo Snow
Label: Anticon

Community Grade (5 Users)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade

?

On last year’s Alopecia, one of 2008’s more unfortunately overlooked albums, Why? pinballed around the realm of indie rock, never pausing long enough to be labeled. Part pop, part folk, part rhythm-’n’-rhyme, the album never let down its creative momentum. That would suggest good things for Eskimo Snow, which came out of the same recording sessions. The material on Alopecia is meant to be livelier and tighter, on Eskimo Snow a little cooler and subdued. Unfortunately, it sounds like the material was split more between the best songs and, for Eskimo Snow, the leftovers. Eskimo Snow does have a different feel, as most tracks operate under an overcast of ennui, especially those on the record’s stronger second half: Acoustic songs such as “One Rose,” the lush “Berkeley By Hearseback,” and the title track offer the band’s moodiest folk, while the plaintive “This Blackest Purse” underscores its anguish with a light piano hook. These are Eskimo Snow’s defining highlights, making a restrained complement to the free-for-all of Alopecia, but the band would have done well to build around them rather than tack on the sessions’ lackluster excess. With lyrics clever and humorously crude, frontman Yoni Wolf has shown he can make good music from many states of mind, but Eskimo Snow needs sharper focus.