May 18, 1998

The Gerbils
"Are you Sleepy"
(Elephant 6 - Hidden Agenda - Parasol)

As another in the long procession of Elephant 6 bands to come out of Athens, Georgia, it may be easy to assume what the Gerbils sound like. Nevertheless, the group, led by Neutral Milk Hotel multi-brassman Scott Spillane (here on vocals, guitar and bass), contributes a particularly ragged and lovable aesthetic to the Elephant 6 "sound" (even by its rag-tag standards). "Are You Sleepy?" is comprised of previously released Gerbils singles with five songs recorded in '96 and two more from '97, but the record sounds cohesive as a whole anyway, with Spillane showing himself to be a more than capable frontman, placing his vocals loud and up front, as the band buzzes away behind him with gobs of fuzz and skewed hooks in the casually-produced (but definitely "lo-fi") mix.