Fog Hummer EP

[Ninja Tune; 2004]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: turntabalism, experimental hip hop, indie rock, lo-fi
Others: Why?, Hymie’s Basement, The Dirty Projectors

Ricocheting off the success of his last LP, Ether Teeth, genre-splicing musician Andrew Broder pelts us with the Hummer EP. Within moments, it becomes crystal clear that Fog was drinking from the same water fountain as Why? in Hymie's basement. The two recent collaborators seem to have rubbed off on each other quite well. Fog has also apparently absorbed a few tips from Why? involving melody and pop sensibility. Couple this with Fog's unique style and use of instruments, and you have a sure-fire lo-fi/acoustic rap/indie rock masterpiece.

Though still frail-sounding, Andrew Broder's singing voice has become more confident. The lazy drawl that he's maintained through all of his releases thus far is more emotive and light-hearted. It has an innocent quality underneath its cracks and strains, and this works perfectly with the songs that he's singing. Hummer is all about reflecting on childhood and the simplicity those days garnered. When listening to this collection of tunes, you sometimes forget that our little Andy is all grown up.

The saxophone bursts that set off the EP are somewhat misleading. The brashness that the first track employs is absent on the following six. "Hummer" is a down-tempo song built around a reversed sample. Fog laments: "To be a sprinkler system in a thunderstorm." The third track is a tender piano interlude with random noises fluttering in and out, all leading towards "I, Baby." Quite possibly the most well-rounded song on the release, this delicate number has Fog becoming an infant again. With such sentiments as "me hungry," "me thirsty," and "me poopy," it's hard not to smile at the light-heartedness.

"Cockeyed Cookie Pusher" is a subtle love song over acoustic guitar. Broder's traditional songwriting abilities explode through on a tune like this. He proves that when the kooky instrumentation is stripped away, there still stands a warm song underneath the wonderful clutter. Fog closes out this short North America-only release with a rather anticlimactic song. "The Stink of Kings" trudges forward for three minutes. And, somehow, this works. Perhaps it has to do with how Fog has already caused us to start salivating for his next release.

1. Whom That Hits Walls
2. Hummer
3. Not Every Goddamn Little Thing You Do Needs A Title
4. I, Baby
5. Melted Crayons
6. Cockeyed Cookie Pusher
7. The Stink of Kings

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