illuminati hotties: Let Me Do One More (Snack Shack Tracks/Hopeless) - review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, October 21st, 2021  

illuminati hotties

Let Me Do One More

Snack Shack Tracks/Hopeless

Oct 05, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Illuminati hotties mastermind Sarah Tudzin is in control of pretty much every aspect of the band’s aesthetic, from writing to production to creating her own genre, labelling it “tender punk.” After buying herself out of her contract with record label Tiny Engines, in solidarity with other artists who were mired in disputes over royalty payments, she quickly established her own imprint Snack Shack Tracks (in conjunction with Hopeless Records).

And it’s via her own label that illuminati hotties’ second album proper, Let Me Do One More, is released. Tudzin again writes all the songs, plays the majority of instruments, as well as producing and engineering the entire project, whilst crafting an album that reflects life’s ups and downs and pretty much everything else in between. This time around the sound is more expansive than on the excellent debut album, 2018’s Kiss Yr Frenemies, but despite the sonic polish it still manages to sound chaotic and refreshingly gritty.

Tracks such as “MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA” and “Joni: L.A.’s No.1 Health Goth” are bursting with Tudzin’s trademark acerbic wit and in your face delivery as she leans into her predilection for jerky scuffed up Riot Grrrl anthems. But it’s the wistful reflective tracks where Tudzin allows herself to be vulnerable that pack the biggest punch. On the sublime “Threatening Each Other Re: Capitalism” Tudzin’s incisive wit remains razor-sharp as she sings, “the corner store is selling spit/bottled up for profit/I can’t believe I’m buying in/isn’t that genius,” before delving into a relationship revealing her doubts and insecurities—“but I think I’m trying to blow this/I loved you best under fluorescent light/I’m getting tricked into a long-term commitment.” And this self-doubt and willingness to express vulnerability arrives at an emotional pinnacle on the bittersweet “The Sway,” as Tudzin reasons it “takes gumption to be brave and еmpathic.”

Elsewhere there’s the slow-burning fusion of “girls in the garage-pop” and alt-country on the gilding “u v v p,” although the tongue in cheek monologue from Big Thief’s Buck Meek overstays its welcome to such an extent you’re initially left wondering if you’re listening to two separate songs. “Toasting” is the polar opposite and sees Great Grandpa’s Alex Menne joining Tudzen for the world’s shortest guest appearance on a track that clocks in at a mammoth 37 seconds and ends just as it’s getting interesting. The album concludes with the starkly beautiful, flickering “Growth,” as Tudzen ruminates on the past before concluding “I guess being an adult/Is just being alone.” It’s an album that mixes fun with warmth, tenderness and regret, and certainly demonstrates Tudzin’s growth as a songwriter, producer. and multi-instrumental auteur. (www.illuminatihotties.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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