Review Summary: Say Hi present an album that skirts the line between consistent and boring.
There are some bands that transcend everything else that is out there; musicians that choose not to be defined by genre restrictions and release passionate, unrestrained music. Say Hi to Your Mom (later shortened to Say Hi) is not one of those artists. It can probably be surmised from the name of the project or the album title which is similarly pedestrian and goofy, that the music itself is light-hearted and frothy. Those assumptions would be somewhat true, but that doesn’t necessarily discount the value of The Impeccable Blahs
as a worthy listen. The low-fi and synth-heavy sound on this album is simultaneously more fun and depressing than anything else out there of this ilk. This certainly isn’t radio-friendly pop, ready to be given to the masses on a silver platter, but rather fun and simplistic music accompanied by Robert Smith-esque vocals. It can get a bit confounding trying to describe the vibe of the music to someone that hasn’t heard it, because it honestly shifts from song to song. “These Fangs” is bouncy and catchy, with angular guitars and an overzealous synth line in the chorus; on the other side of the spectrum is the track “She Just Happens to Date the Prince of Darkness”, which builds slowly and relies on vocalist Eric Elbogen’s fevered yell in the refrain. For two songs that seem so different to be two standout tracks goes far in telling what a mixed bag The Impeccable Blahs
is, and it is somehow much more endearing because of the imperfections that are surreptitiously thrown in.
Although Say Hi play to their strengths throughout most of The Impeccable Blahs
, there are just some songs that seem to run through the motions. “Sad, But Endearingly So” plods along at a medium pace without introducing any new elements to the overarching formula, and “Prefers Happy Endings” is simply a song that overstays its welcome. The lack of variation in songs such as these makes it difficult to sit through the entirety of the album without becoming bored. One of the greatest assets of the band is Elbogen’s vocals, as evidenced by the variety of emotions that his voice embodies over these ten tracks. Whether he is sounding disassociated and hushed (“Sweet Sweet Heartkiller”) or wailing as if his heart will come undone if he can’t get it out fast enough (“Snowcones and Puppies”), his voice is arresting and passionate. Never mind the fact that all of the lyrics in one way or another deal with vampires, as the lyrics don’t really matter here. Nor does it matter that Say Hi aren’t pushing any genre limitations, because it’s obvious that this wasn’t made for that reason. This is a very fun album with a depressive undertone, and any listener that enjoys indie pop will find themselves coming back to quite a few tracks after the fact.