Highway Hypnosis

Sneaks

Merge Records, 2019

http://sneaks.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/01/2019

Sneaks is the one woman band of Eva Moolchan, who cut her teeth in the Washington D.C. punk scene. Just barely in her twenties, Moolchan is armed with a scarce amount of instruments on a highly imaginative album that somehow reminds us both of Britney Spears and Nirvana but remains entirely its own entity as Sneaks.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Highway Hypnosis” starts the curious album out with whispering/chanting that breaks into aberrant versions of pop that could soundtrack a horror movie. “The Way It Goes” follows with some version of R&B meets electro-pop that even brings in rapping. Things get even more bizarre with the fuzzy, beat-driven “Ecstasy,” where soothing vocals are met with a firm drum machine. But, really, oddities are the status quo here.

This is certainly a danceable album, as evidenced by tracks like the quirky club tune “Suck It Like A Whistle” and “Saidtzoneza,” a trance-like offering that's repetitive but contains a strong rhythm and is so experimental it invents a new language. Album closer “Hong Kong To Amsterdam” is a swift exploration into unusual pop ideas and with plenty of eccentric synth for effect.

The best tunes are the most unexpected, including the chunky bass and throbbing “Holy Cow Never Saw A Girl Like Her” and the ominous, grungy, post-punk sounds of “And We're Off,” both of which would seem right at home on earlier albums from Sneaks but serve as anomalies here.

Most of the tunes hover around the two minute mark, and each one offers new surprises, especially when you consider that her first two efforts were largely centered around post-punk. Now more akin to hip-hop and electronica and with a fuller sound (yet still quite minimal, really), Sneaks is reinvented with longer songs, more bizarre ideas, and a whole lot of fun in one truly unclassifiable listen.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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