Crazy Experiments in Heartfelt Rap

Why?'s head creative merchant Yoni Wolf decided to share his wacky solo project with some friends, Doug McDiarmid, Matt Meldon and Josiah Wolf showcase their first sonic collage of urban sounds with Why?

The overdubbed strains of 'Crushed Bones' introduce us to the rhythmic, melodic rap sounds of Why?, constantly playing with time signature and altering the sonic backdrop like a fast-paced tour of the city. The words drop like lead weights, each syllable with its own special importance in the tune. In contrast, the vocals in 'Yo Yo Bye Bye' are softly sung and the scratched record sounds provide the initial harsh, gritty reality. I'd never before realised that anything with a rap edge could be so poignant.

'Rubber Traits' is more kitsch and indie, it sounds like the whole tune is emanating from beneath a frothy sea of synth sound. "I want a patch of blue sky to follow up", the aspiring lyrics are light, but brutally honest, "Always be working a suicide note" and above all melodic. Why? works wonderfully with the element of surprise, just when you think 'The Hoofs' more traditional acoustic guitar backing will continue, the most bizarre sounds, like an ice cream van on overdrive chime out, and it works perfectly, with heavy rhythmic beats pinning it all together.

'Running Saddles' is one of the best tunes, it carries a gravity and coherence that makes it particularly powerful and the chiming sound of confused carnival that breaks through half way through is very emotive, like a twisted fairground against the fragile vocals and samples of everyday conversations. 'Gemini (Birthday Song)' is an astute voyage through one girl's life with a sweet, reminiscent tone and overwhelming piano chords, "your legs are two skinny dolphins swimming between the mattress and the layers of bedding".

'Sand Dollars' is a more generic off-kilter indie offering, if that isn't a contradiction in terms, but it has the same twee chirpiness as many Alfie tunes, just with the rough American vocals spilling rhythmically over the top. 'Whispers Into The Other' goes a little deep with an echoing guitar solo and 'Act Five's brooding, menacing tone gives the vocals a certain dark edge

Why?'s quirky rap is both poetic and drenched in fascinating sonic experiments, if the words 'rap' instantly turn you off, you should be ashamed as this is a fascinating, extremely well-written album that blends hip hop, prog and indie somewhere in a Utopian dream of all genres being as one.