October 25, 2021

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“MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA” by Illuminati Hotties Review


Illuminati Hotties’ Sarah Tudzin went through some shit with her label last year, but she just announced her own imprint, Snack Shack Tracks. Its first song, a wild-eyed pop-punk ripper called “MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA,” is the sound you make when you are this close to losing it. The song opens with a few stabs of guitar and scattershot drums, but then Tudzin swoops in like a cheap vacuum, sucking up chaos and spreading it around. She’s setting up first dates (“Won’t you swing by after hours so you know just what you’re getting into?”) and sassing customers (“On the phone when they call me ‘Mister’/I say, ‘Ma’am, that’ll be just fine’”) and having bad trips (“Man, I was scared but I took his drugs”). She’s spiraling into depression (“I’m so sad I can’t do laundry”) and surging up on a mood swing (“I had it bad but now I’m back in the saddle, baby!”).

It’s all pulling toward that chorus—“Mmm/Ooo/Aaaaa/Ya ya”—the one-sided onomatopoeia of a conversation she can’t bear to keep having, while meanwhile her mind is racing, racing, racing through marketing strategy (“Place that precious pretty product!”) and U.S. politics (“The DNC is playing dirty!”) and sexual roleplay (“Call me, Daddy!”). “MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA” is a pressure valve release for digital-mental-emotional-spiritual overload, sneering and ironic, gross on purpose: In her video tribute-slash-parody of D’Angelo, Tudzin mugs for the camera shirtless and gets dressed like nachos in a goopy stream of something she describes as “slimey” and I might optimistically call “gruel.” It doesn’t make any goddamn sense (whose life does anymore); the final line hits with an orgasmic gasp, a Cruella de Ville laugh, and the total gracelessness of truth under capitalism: “If you’re not laughing, baby/Then you’re not making money!” Mmm-mmm-mmm.



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