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Sneaks - Highway Hypnosis (Album Review)

Monday, 04 February 2019 Written by Milly McMahon

Photo: Stephanie Severance

The third album from D.C. post-punk artist Sneaks, aka Eva Moolchan, is a high octane, uncensored flurry of provocation. Chiefly comprising of her signature lo-fi bass, drumbeats and mantras matched to the instrumental movements of her music, ‘Highway Hypnosis’ feels trance-inducing.

The title track opens proceedings and it feels uncomfortable; almost presented as an obstacle to her work. It’s as though the writer is testing our investment in her music. Three tracks later and the magic really begins to happen with Suck it Like a Whistle, a sinister, winding fanfare.

The creative choices on this album are typical of Moolchan’s anti-commercial stance, and the production is obscure. There is no established structure to her tracks here, and she never adheres to a rigid format.

Uncompromising and experimental, the lyrics exist to add texture to the heavy environments her music builds. Influenced by childhood memories and distorted thoughts, no tangible pathways can be mapped out throughout the album.

This off-kilter approach to writing complements the intelligently laid out tracklisting. Each song begins with wonderment, and despite feeling irreverent there is an intimacy to the aesthetic that keeps listeners exploring, intrigued by the message behind each creation.

Hong Kong to Amsterdam is the strongest moment here. Appearing like a dimly lit, open space illuminated sporadically by flashing lights, the visual, performance-based aspect of Sneaks’ work is so vivid it seeps into the 2D headphone experience.

On the other side of the coin, Holy Cow Never Saw a Girl Like Her and Beliefs do not enhance the album. More spoken word than post-punk, the two chanting landscapes slow the pace and disengage us from a crescendo of darkness that has been building from track one.

An entirely unique album with distinguished character and confidence, 'Highway Hypnosis' is the sort of piece that might influence those who move in similar circles—artists like Grimes, Princess Nokia and She Devils. An acquired taste designed to be experienced and enjoyed within the context of self-exploration, this is a bold body of work exhibiting depth and progression.

Sneaks Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed May 01 2019 - LONDON Brixton Windmill

Click here to compare & buy Sneaks Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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