Illuminati Hotties – “Mmmoooaaaaaayaya”

There is nothing wrong with lo-fi cacophony, but a messy recording today is not quite the same as a messy recording 30 or 40 years ago. Much like a pair of jeans that are bought with holes in them are not the same as ones whose holes were worn into them. “Mmmoooaaaaaayaya” has a catchy hook juxtaposed with a lot of chaos in its three minutes and it works much as it did on last year’s FREE I.H.: This Is Not the One You’ve Been Waiting For. Though it takes some getting used to, Sarah Tudzin’s voice has a knack for grating its way through the noise even as she is part of a whole that seems barely kept in one piece, a dynamic she likely carefully designed as a recording engineer and producer. There is just this sense that it isn’t creativity blossoming out of the adversity of trying to make a record when what you need to make one is not readily or cheaply available. Maybe I’m just being a curmudgeon, but as much as I like this song, there is just a nagging sense that it is disingenuous. It raises some questions I have about the nature and importance of authenticity and believability. For me, this song may struggle with both, but it is the latter that bothers me the most even as I enjoy it. It seems like a lot of effort was expended to make something sound cavalier.

About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

2 thoughts on “Illuminati Hotties – “Mmmoooaaaaaayaya”

  1. Chuck

    When I was in music school, there was a guitar player there named Yowzah. Or maybe Yowzah! He was an extrovert with a mohawk who stood out like a sore thumb in an institution that was basically split between people who wanted to be metal wankers and those who wanted to be jazz wankers.

    As I look back on my memory of Yowzah 30 years later, it feels like he had the right idea but didn’t get the execution quite right. He understood the value of learning his craft and he understood the inherent dishonesty of how we were learning it, but his expression of that understanding always felt a bit artificial, as if he was a character in a movie rather than a real person.

    I feel the same way here. The opening guitar reminds me of Primus, a band who pretty much defines coming from a good place but not getting the execution quite right. Tudzin is clearly challenging her listeners by juxtaposing what we’re comfortable with (hooky choruses, attractive near-naked women) against what we’re uncomfortable with (angular verses, rejecting society’s rules for what attractive near-naked women should do), and I applaud her for it. But I agree, something seems off. There’s something here I don’t quite believe, but honestly, I hope it’s a perception error on my side and not an execution error on Tudzin’s.

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  2. bobvinyl Post author

    That’s a good point about juxtaposing comfort with discomfort. It makes me think better of the song actually, because it points toward an idea rather than simply a sound. Even the video is better based on your comments. I think I’m going to go back to this and spend more time with it.

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