ILLUMINATI HOTTIES: FREE I.H: This Is Not the One You’ve Been Waiting for: LP

I don’t even remember how I came across this album, but I’m so glad I did. While Sarah Tudzin (who is illuminati hotties) made this album to complete her contract with her label, Tiny Engines, after they screwed over a bunch of bands, it’s her best work to date. It’s a mix of styles that lifts from multiple genres without sounding fake. What’s more amazing is how well it works together, flowing smoothly. There’s the Black Flag-influenced sound on “free ppls” and then the head-bopping, poppy punk sound on the next track, “freequent letdown.” “Melatonezone” comes next with a reggae influence more in line with something Rihanna might put out. I love the snotty vocals as much as the smooth, harmonic ones. It’s got aggression and pop sensibilities that have a wide appeal. The only shame is that it isn’t longer; the whole thing doesn’t even hit twenty-five minutes. That minor detail aside, if at least one of these songs doesn’t get you nodding your head and tapping your foot, then you’re dead. This is my album of the summer and definitely in my top three for the year. –Kurt Morris (illuminatihotties.bandcamp.com)