The first promo copies of WHY?‘s new album Eskimo Snow have gone out, and yours truly is digging in as we speak. The Oakland act’s fourth album was recorded in Minnesota in 2007, during the same sessions as 2008’s spectacular Alopecia. But Eskimo Snow is not Alopecia part two (as much as some of us wouldn’t mind); instead, it’s a mellower, dare I say less weird collection that features more acoustic instrumentation, including greater emphasis on live drums. It also finds frontman Yoni Wolf rapping less and singing more than ever before, though he hasn’t abandoned rhyme. At first blush it’s not as arresting as Alopecia, but perhaps that’s the point: to find out what happens when a strange, idiosyncratic indie rap/pop/rock band leans a bit toward the center? And why not? With lyrics like Now I think my upstairs neighbor hears me masturbatin’ / And there’s other ones peepin’ through the slits in my curtains, WHY? makes other bands’ strange feel straight boring.