"I'll go unknown by torpedo or Crohn's / Only those evil live to see their own
likeness in stone." It's the kind of couplet you'd carve into a wall whilst savoring the
irony at hand, but when Yoni Wolf spit the line ten years ago he was blissfully,
broodily unaware that he and his band WHY? were creating a career-defining
album-one so fan-adored that it would go out of print, and so influential that the
art-pop heroine Lorde herself would lovingly steal the very lyric quoted above.
When it dropped in 2008, Alopecia not only marked WHY?'s evolution from a
sonically collaged mostly solo project to a live-recorded powerhouse band of
badass multi-instrumentalists. It also minted a genre of one: wryly written,
poignantly posed, simultaneously swaggering and heart-rending song-rap that
jangles like folk, bursts like psych-rock, and sways like chamber pop.
To this day, there is no other group in the known universe that sounds or feels like
WHY? does on Alopecia. The album's 2018 reissue cheekily etches that aural
likeness into our musical history.