Brooklyn resident Eric Elbogen has been releasing albums as Say Hi to Your Mom since 2002’s “Discosadness”. He became a tiny blip on the MTV radar with his sophomore CD “Numbers and Mumbles” and the MTV promo that featured “Let’s Talk about Spaceships”. Then in 2005 SHTYM released their third, and best, CD, “Ferocious Mopes”. Nothing from this CD is on TRL and nothing from this CD will recommended to you in Rolling Stone. However millions of people know that MTV’s trash is occasionally (most of time actually) our treasure. And in a world of mostly pennies SHTYM is a gold nugget. On with the review.
This album kicks off with one of the longer, more up beat, stronger songs The Twenty- Second Century. Unlike most of the songs on this CD Twenty- Second Century features just bass, guitar, drums and vocals. Interesting chord changes and Eric’s echoing voice keep this song interesting throughout its 4 minutes and 27 seconds. While I admit the lyrics aren’t genius they are fairly catchy. And they work. Track 2, The Death of Girl Number Two adds a little keyboard to the mix. Proving songs about girls don’t always have to be girl leaves boy, boy whines. This song adds a little Sci-Fi twist to the standard method. Not as strong as Twenty-Second but still a good song. Next one of the best titled songs of all time:
The Forest Scares the Hell Out of Me. The first thing you hear in this song is a dark, evil sounding bass/guitar riff. Then Eric’s voice comes in with more echo effects on it. The Choruses turn this song from an average SHTYM song into a much more interesting one. By using an octave bass part and a little synth riff. After the choruses comes a fairly bland guitar solo. Then back to the dark verses and equally dark choruses. After a little keyboard solo the 2nd shortest songs comes in.
While Yeah, I’m in Love with and Android may be short it stands out as one of the better songs on the CD. The slowest song so far talks about love again but once again this isn’t your standard love “ballad”. It’s about being in love with a robot like the title says. Despite the quirky, odd lyrics this song is strangely beautiful. After 2 minutes and 18 seconds my favorite track comes in. I Think I’ll be a Good Ghost starts out with a weird riff played on either some keyboard or actual bells. Again the lyrics aren’t very serious but are about a serious subject (self-doubt). And fun to listen to. During the chorus Eric sings in a higher voice “Hey, It’ll be nice, to be seen through for a while… And hey it’ll be cool, to be feather light for a while”. Along with the bass and keyboard tones it creates a very mellow pretty sounding chorus. If you’re only going to listen to a couple songs on this CD, this is definitely a place to start.
After 2 slower, quieter songs Dimensions and Verticals kicks in with a strangely dark guitar and bass riff that captures you right away. The bass and drums drop out in the chorus and leaves Eric and the guitar alone. Not the best track on the album. But a strong one for sure. The next song Recurring Motifs in Historical Flirtings come in with a much simpler, happier organ and bass riff. When the lyrics come in the song goes from happy to dark. This song is about love once again. But this time the lyrics have nothing to do with Sci-fi or Androids. It’s actually about Eric in a dance off with another guy to win a girls heart. More of a standard emo idea. But still a good idea at that.
Mosquitoes in the Stucco is a different song that doesn’t sound like anything else on the album. Even with its echoing vocals in the verses and its mellow guitar in the choruses this songs remains one of the weaker songs on the album until about the 1:30 minute mark when the song really kicks in. Next up is another one of my favorite songs
Poor Pete is a Bit Self-Conscious. This song sounds a little bit more mainstream then the rest of the songs but it’s very refreshing. More self-conscious lyrics but still keeping the quirkiness. Standard Pop-Punk/Emo done right. For the last song, As Smart as Geek is Chic Right Now the bass, drums and keyboards are all gone. Just Eric and an Acoustic guitar. Unfortunately this is a disappointingly short song. If it was a little longer I would definitely rate it higher.