Ecid: Werewolf Hologram

Throughout Werewolf Hologram Ecid comes off like the bastard lovechild of Astronautalis and Childish Gambino.


Werewolf Hologram

Label: Fill in the Breaks
US Release Date: 2012-06-19
UK Release Date: 2012-06-19

Doomtree. Astronautalis. Kristoff Krane. Ecid. The twin cities indie hip-hop scene is exploding right now and Werewolf Hologram is the most recent piece of its intricate puzzle. Of all of those mentioned, his style is closest to Astronautalis's despite being more sample heavy. Their similarities don't stop at strictly musical style though, the vocal resemblance is uncanny and his flow charts a very similar pattern as well. Where they differ is in lyrical approach. Ecid, as is made very clear throughout Werewolf Hologram, favors wordplay, witticisms, and turns of phrases instead of narrative. While Astronautalis is the more frequently brilliant of the pair, Ecid seems determined to catch up to him on his own terms. Werewolf Hologram is a very good start.

Werewolf Hologram begins with its brilliant title track and though the rest of the record can't match that single song, it doesn't suffer because of it. On "Werewolf Hologram" Ecid lays the groundwork that he'll ravage throughout Werewolf Hologram's 16-track hour long run-time. When Ecid raps "hold tight to the bright lights, oh how enlightening" over the tracks laid-back whistle-heavy musical accompaniment, Werewolf Hologram seems like its setting itself up for huge. Then it hits its first stumbling block when it hits the chorus which sounds like its intended to be anthemic but just comes across as cluttered and forced. When Ecid is tearing into the verses and letting loose, Werewolf Hologram is riveting but there's just not the same sense of joy in the choruses.

The next two tracks, "Men Kill Men" and "I Heart Gravity", reveal an over-sampling tendency that only detracts from the songs. "The Pursuit of Everything In Between" sets things back on track and shows that when Ecid exercises musical restraint, he's as fascinating as an emcee as you could hope for. "The Pursuit of Everything In Between" only really falters on the chorus which comes out of nowhere and doesn't suit the song. Really, most of Werewolf Hologram's verses sound like they should be guest verses on Astronautalis records and most of the choruses sound ghost-written by El-P -- another artist Ecid shares a lot of similarities with.

After "Boo Hoo" and "Incredible" only ignite in spurts, "Oh Well" really takes off. Ultimately it's one of the most complete songs on Werewolf Hologram and, with the exception of "Werewolf Hologram", most accurately showcases Ecid's raw talent, capabilities, and potential. "Marching On" and "Woolf" combine with "Oh Well" to form an impressive run, though all of them still have the incredible verse/mediocre chorus problem. That the verses more than make up for the choruses is a testament to Ecid's ability as an emcee. Around the time "So Damn Einstein" hit, I was hoping for it to be the last track and was beginning to feel the length of the record. "So Damn Einstein" itself is another great song that's slightly hindered by slight over-sampling but boasts a fairly decent chorus, which temporarily made me forget about the length.

The next pair of tracks "The Future is Free" and "Rock Stars Don't Apologize" have a combined 5 featured guests: David Mars, Leif Kout, Awol One, Kristoff Krane, and Eyedea. "The Future is Free" is mostly forgettable and insignificant apart from the guest spots. However, "Rock Stars Don't Apologize", the record's longest track, is one of the most fascinating and memorable. There's a strange foreboding under-current running through it while the guests (Eyedea and Krane in particular) pull it along to its conclusion with Ecid showing up at the end for the home stretch and committing to one of his most brilliant verses. It's a weird and enthralling listen that hints at a potential new future direction for Ecid.

That dark under-current is kept for "Back From Japan" which, unquestionably, features Werewolf Hologram's best chorus. "Back From Japan" ultimately ends up being the only track that rivals "Werewolf Hologram" as the records best. They're each strangely accessible despite being injected with Ecid's oddball personality. Really, Werewolf Hologram should have ended there to be book-ended by those two and leaving people wanting more. Unfortunately "Surprise Yourself", despite being a very strong track, ends up feeling wasted as the first of the last two tracks. "So Much Fire" ends Werewolf Hologram on a slightly disappointing note as one of the records weakest tracks. It's clear that Werewolf Hologram would've benefited from a harsher editor but assessing the final product, it's also clear that Ecid is someone worth getting excited over. He may have a masterpiece in him.


In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.