Really impressive album from Sneaks here. Highway Hypnosis may be a record from D.C. with its roots in post-punk, but this is as far as any similarities with Minor Threat, Dischord Records go. Sneaks has produced a record of lo-fi hip-hop, leftfield pop and upstart feminist punk. Such is the scope of this LP that comparisons to Shabazz Palaces, Dean Blunt, Inga Copeland and M.I.A. all feel right. Very cool.
Vinyl LP £17.99 MRG638LP
Black vinyl LP on Merge.
- Shipping cost: £3.35 ?
- Includes download code
CD £11.49 MRG638CD
Digipak CD on Merge.
- Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
Limited Vinyl LP £19.49 MRG638LPC1
Limited indies only green vinyl LP on Merge.
This morning when The Right Honorable Clinton passed me the albums that I was to review today he said he’d tried to crack Highway Hypnosis by Sneaks but it was a bit too contemporary pop for his tastes. Now, as the member of the Norman Records team responsible for a truly astronomic rise in the number of times Ariana Grande can be heard coming from our mid-century-brutalist-tower-block™ I was more than happy to give it a spin.
The thing is, had Clinton caught Sneaks’ previous album, It’s a Myth he may well be a confused fan by now. That album was all stripped back bass lead post-punk that drew comparisons to Norman favs™ like Sleaford Mods and Gang of Four. And though that’s not completely gone, ‘Holy Cow Never Saw A Girl Like Her’ and ‘And We’re Off” see Sneaks yelling and softly crooning over a jaunty bass respectively, most of the songs on Highway Hypnosis have a sheen about them that represents a serious step away from post-punk and towards something more interested in pop and hip-hop. Clumsy drum machine patterns are replaced with the slicker, more liquid ones you can find in trap music. Sneaks’ chunky bass guitar makes way for synthesised bass blasts. And then throw into the mix a high end of incredibly sleek beats and loops and you can see why this may not have been for Clinton.
On the strengths of utter bangers like ‘Suck It Like a Whistle’ and ‘The Way It Goes’ it’s clear that Sneaks has large ambitions, ambitions that deserve to be fulfilled. And if they are, she probably won’t forget where she came from.
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- Highway Hypnosis by Sneaks
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