Que another one of the bands that no-ones seems to have heard of.
Okay, so SHTYM are a quirkey indie-pop band from Brooklyn, New York. They're reletively unknown pretty much everywhere. In one of the shows, Eric Elbogen (singer/songwriter/instrumentalist) describes that him and his band played to a total of 5 people. Thats how unknown.
On the back of their old album 'Discosadness' the band set out to experiment a little, and thats how 'Numbers & Mumbles' was born.
1. Pop Music Of The Future - A very plain song for an intro track. A vague bassline hides behind Eric's usual quirky voice. A soft finger picky guitar riff comes in along with some drums, but the song stays rather slow and bland. It has a hint of Death Cab into it near the end, whcih appeals to me, but its stil not an amazing into to the album. 3/5
2. A Hit In Sweden - Probably the poppiest song on the album which relies heavily on some high pitched guitar riffs and slow keyboard tunes. Eric gets to show off his actually singing ability in this track as apposed to the earlier track where he just seemed to mumble a few words. the keyboard in my eyes pretty much holds this track together and works so well in the verses. If you like some Indie-pop then this is the track to check out. 4/5
3. Super - So we go from probably the happiest song on the album to the darkest. The intro of simple keyboard chords sets the mood and pretty much shows how this songs gonna go. Again the bass line is really heavy in this song - it holds together a simple drum beat and a vague organ. Eric's voice is so dark in this song aswell, sends a few chills down my spine sometimes. For a fan of a light yet dark so, you'd probably enjoy this - definately one of the albums best tracks. 4.5/5
4. Hooplas Involving Circus Tricks - One of the most distorted on the album as the guitars pretty much rock the chorus, but the verse consists of Eric mumbling a few lyrics and playing a great keyboard riff again. The structure of the song and the way he positions the lyrics at points is just genius. Shows off real talent. Theres also a nice guitar solo near the end. Its not complicated at all, it just works really well with the effects it uses. One of the happier songs again. 4/5
5. Let's Talk About Spaceships - A random name for a song : / but i guess that just shows how Eric can rite about anything, and write it well. A simple guitar/bass riff brings us in with Eric mumbling 'Whats that saying again, they're only words and words can't kill me'. Such a calm song, the chorus consisting of 'lets talk about spaceships, or anything except you and me okay'. A pretty basic song when you break it down. The drum beats rarely change and the same bass line is played over and over. gets a bit boring after a while. 3.5/5
6. A Kiss To Make It Better - Okay, for fans of the song 'Super' this is probably the 2nd darkest song on the album. An odd bass line carries Erics normal wierd lyrics and another simple drum beat. The chorus brings in the keyboard for added effects. Eric's lyrics are once again rather strange - 'I gave her my number incase she wanted to make out', okay so maybe not that wierd when read but with the song it creates a strange effect. The keyboard fades the song out and makes falf the song in my eyes. Not one of the best tracks. 3/5
7. But She Beat My Highscore - One of the shortest songs on the album hitting in at 2:11 9Along with 'i'm so tired'). Such a basic one aswell. Once again the bass and heyboard are pretty much the only things included in this song (apart from a vague simple sound and the odd guitar riff). It shows off how Eric's ability to use simplicity in songs can work so well. The song itself is great, but when broken down consists of virtually nothing. As shown in most of the album, Eric's ability is shone but not often recognised. Good track. 4/5
8. Your Brains vs. My Tractorbeam - My second favourite on the album. Such a great song and there are even some backing vocals at times in the pre-chorus (creates a nice and new effect). As shown with most of the songs on this album, the bass and keyboard are the primary instruments used. The quirky riffs provide oppertunity for Eric to experiment with different ways to make his lyrics fit. The keyboard tune is great on its own. You'l end up getting the tune in your head if you listen to it enough. Great track 4.5/5
9. I'm So Tired - This is the other shortest song on the album coming in at 2:11 (along with 'But she beat my highscore'). I'm getting tired of saying this, but again the bassline is the most used instrument in this song. I guess Eric likes the bass, huh?? The verses are pretty bland and plain, but the choruss kick in a bit with his voice getting a bit louder, but not too loud to cover the guitar work behind.The song follows the same general flow, the drumming is mixed up towards the end but dos'nt change how bland the song actually is. 3/5
10. The Key Of C - The outro really, the calmest song on the album. Pretty much consists of Eric singing and Keyboards/Piano's playing in the background, creating a nice tune. If i'm honest, i'd say its a good outro to the album. Pretty much shows how Eric likes to mix his styles up. Theres really not much to say about this song, but overall it isnt that bad. 4/5
Recommended Tracks -
+ Your Brains vs. My Tractorbeam
+ Eric's ability to switch from genre's.
+ The simplicity of the songs.
+ (Although i couldnt find any sites with them on) Some of his lyrics.
- The Simplicity can also work as a disadvantage.
- Songs can get a bit repetetive/boring.
I love SHTYM becuase of their quirky lyrics and simple beats. Personally i think Eric Elbogen is a genius in some respects but in others i still think he has alot of ground to cover. The album itself is'nt flawless, but for people who want to try something different its a definate recommendation. Give this band a try.
Overall Rating - 3.5/5