Album Review: The Hot Toddies – Bottoms Up EP

by Joel Edelman on February 20, 2013

Bottoms Up

In a previous life I was a KSCU DJ, and we’d received an advance of this EP, which had three of the five tracks. So the good news is I really know some of these songs. The bad news is that it still isn’t a full-length.

For those of you just joining us, the Hot Toddies are an Oakland band that continues the Bay Area’s history of girl group garage indie rock. I’ve been fortunate to see bands such as the Kirby Grips, Minipop, Brilliant Colors, She Mob, Run for Cover Lovers, the Reaction, Apogee Sound Club, Persephone’s Bees, … I’m just showing off now. That’s what people in their 30s do when speaking to people in their 20s. If I’m going to be older than you, I might as well be pretentious about it.

Anyway, the songwriting is more of what you expect from the Hot Toddies: too clever for Mike & Molly and the cause of cheek trauma everywhere because of how firmly the tongue has been planted up in there. Good thing Timbuk2 bags have a pouch for salves. Not exactly like one of my favorite Garbage Pail Kids but close.

“Green and Gold” was my favorite track last time, but then Kurt Suzuki got traded to the Washington Nationals. Fucks everything up, it does. However, it’s still a great song about sliding into third base and going all the way, etc. We’ve all heard the baseball metaphors before, but these gals put a fresh take on it, making me happy that there is in fact an “i” in “euphemism.”

“Hey Hey” has held up well over the months. In terms of a well-crafted song, this one does it all right. The organ fits in well and complements the guitar perfectly. The harmonizing during the chorus ties it all together neatly.

The melody of “Jaguar Love” reminds me of a Weird Al Yankovic song, and it’s driving me nuts that I can’t remember it. I wish this song had accordion accompaniment. That would jog my memory nicely. This one is flirtier than “Green and Gold,” which makes sense because it was the first track. Don’t want to put out on the first date unless it’s a surprise, after all.

The guitar jangle I get from acts such as the Jolenes or All Girl Summer Fun Band is most apparent in “That Ain’t Right.” In fact if you listen to the Jolenes’s track “Dear Diary” you will hear the same chord. Sure, it’s a coincidence, but it’s also hot-damn awesome.

The slow-dance track is “Boogie Nights.” Very dreamy, perhaps with a nod to Carly Simon, but like a good wine, everyone has a different opinion, and they’re all right.

Anyway, if you’re into all-female bands, girl group harmonies, and/or suggestive lyrics, this is as far as you need to go.

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