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Album Review: The Hot Toddies “Bottoms Up”

In Music

It’s been three years since East Bay’s all-girl sun-pop group, the Hot Toddies, put out their last record, Get Your Heart On, released on local label Asian Man records in 2010. Now they’re back as a trio with a five-song EP, Bottoms Up, released by Tricycle Records.

Even with the slight lineup change (keyboardist Jessica left the band), Bottoms Up still delivers a similar sound—easy-breezy, surf pop songs, boundlessly catchy vocal harmonies and dry witty lyrics about fun times and sexual innuendos. However, in the absence of keyboards, the Toddies have taken a somewhat heavier, more guitar-centric sound.

It is the heaviest tracks on Bottoms Up, in fact, that are the strongest. Opener “Jaguar Love” is a female-empowering sing-along rocker about fast cars and sex, with lots of tongue in cheek humor. Even with the distortion, there’s no lack of bubbly energy to the song. Another strong track, closer “Hey Hey,” while slower, still has a heavier sound—almost a power-ballad with a slow head-banging beat.

There has been a steady increase of retro girl group rock bands since the Toddies started in 2005, but they continue to distinguish themselves from the new crop of younger girl bands by softening up their twee elements on Bottoms Up and keeping that humor deadpan. We’ll have to wait to see what sound their next full length brings.

The Hot Toddies play the Blank Club on Saturday March 30, opening for Shinobu. Tickets are $10. The show starts at 9pm.

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