Album Review: Say Hi – Caterpillar Centipede

After announcing the retirement of his synth-pop project Say Hi in 2017, Eric Elbogen – also the mastermind behind Werewolf Diskdrive – has brought Say Hi back for one more record.

Read more: Interview – Werewolf Diskdrive

Elbogen was inspired by the overwhelming response to his vinyl Kickstarter last year, which was meant to be a sendoff for the band but instead helped encourage him to revive it. Released last Friday, September 7, Caterpillar Centipede is a collection of ten rock songs that will, according to Elbogen, “worm their way into your heart.”

a4066237964_10.jpgThere is more focus on the guitar on Caterpillar Centipede than on previous albums, but the album is classic Say Hi; it is filled with gritty guitar and growling melodies, and Elbogen’s signature layered vocals are present. His intricately-layered instrumentals and the occasional dissonance resolve into daring hooks, and every listen brings something new and exciting – “Makin’ Faces Like (You Ate A Lemon)” has a strong, funky beat and builds throughout the intro, adding percussive guitar and synth until the music is thick and powerful. Upon a closer listen, there is a barely-there guitar melody in the background of the instrumental, so soft you almost can’t hear it; it is nearly overshadowed by bell-toned synth chords. The intricacy is impressive, but thankfully, not everything is that intense: “I Just Wanna Go Home” is short and simple, with Say Hi’s trademark power chords and dark refrains.

Its lyrics are primarily love-oriented. On “Sweaters”, Elbogen croons, “I want you to be my layers of sweaters/I want us to get lost in the woods/I hope I’ve opened my eyes/In the nick of time,” as an unassuming melody twinkles on top of the dark guitar, adding a bright touch to the song. It’s cute, if a little unexpected, and feels soft and cozy, like being covered in blankets on a snowy day. Later, “Green With Envy” is like a mouthful of cherry syrup, sticky and with a twinge of regret but still plenty sweet, as Elbogen sings, “I’m-a green with envy/While you’re winking your eyes at him/Is it ever gonna end?” and then “I shoulda been a better, better, better lover to you.”

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Photo by Jennifer Jiminez.

Caterpillar Centipede is a nostalgic record, but it is one that rings true to Say Hi’s specifically quirky sound throughout every second of its ten tracks, so there is no doubt that fans will be delighted.

Read More: Album Review: Werewolf Diskdrive – Werewolf Diskdrive

To support the release, Elbogen will embark on a five-week tour of intimate living-room shows performing stripped-down acoustic sets from Say Hi’s entire catalog, with only 40-60 tickets sold in each city. For the most part, these shows are already sold out, but there are still a few tickets left; check out Say Hi’s tour dates here for more information.

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