Let's Eat Grandma
I'm All Ears


4.4
superb

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
June 29th, 2018 | 139 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Toeing the line between fervent experimentation and enjoyable song craft...effortlessly.

Let’s Eat Grandma are a tough duo to pin down, both musically and personally. Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth have an odd sense of humor that a lot of people don’t quite vibe with, such as the time that they confessed via interview that they are actually witches – a prank that stuck with certain publications and led to them being labeled as “freaky teenagers”, replete with comparisons to characters out of The Ring and The Shining. They’re not witches, of course, but that hasn’t stopped them from working magic in the studio. Their debut LP I, Gemini illustrated the depth and complexity of their particular musical brand – one that is infused with healthy doses of dream pop and indie-rock. Now, with a second album under their belt, Let’s Eat Grandma have proved a couple of things. The first is that their quirky personalities are a major creative asset. The second is that they will never be content to remain artistically stationary, resulting in a sophomore record that is certain to get noticed in a big way.

‘Hot Pink’ blasts its way onto the scene with industrial, Sophie-esque beats and a virtual monsoon of electronics/studio effects that partially serve to disorient its listeners. It’s something of an anomaly, however, as the vast majority of I’m All Ears slants towards deliberately complex but thoughtfully designed pop music. Lengthy song structures are nothing new to Let’s Eat Grandma, but they’ve never sounded as full-bodied or confident as they do here. ‘Snakes & Ladders’, ‘Cool & Collected’, and ‘Donnie Darko’ all reside in the six to eleven minute range, with each serving as a uniquely impressive pillar. The methodical, atmospheric progression of ‘Snakes & Ladders’ feels almost like the band’s Jimmy Eat World moment – with a to-and-fro rhythm that rocks the listener into a dreamy haze while the emotional intensity ramps up with each and every verse. An interesting evolution that occurs within and over the course of I’m All Ears is how the lyrics – which begin as cryptic and superficial – become more and more specific and personal. By the time we reach ‘Cool & Collected’, the second of what I’d consider to be the album’s three defining moments, we hear the duo sing: “ I'm impressed with you, but don't have that effect on you…I can't express to you, I'll be here if you want me to / I'm just obsessed with you, I'm always such a mess with you” – a personal but vague confession that sees them arrive at something of an emotional stalemate; this desperate need to convey something, only without the adequate verbiage: “ And you make me feel so…And you make me feel so”. They never quite find the words, and it seems even more appropriate that way. It’s a line that summarizes all the times we’ve wished we could say something – perhaps even worked up the courage – but simply couldn’t bridge the profundity of our emotions with any common words in our language arsenal. It’s moments like this that take an apparently peculiar duo and make them expressly relatable; human in a way that the music behind the words doesn’t necessarily project. As the record moves along and the wall between musician and listener crumbles even further, the curtain-call ‘Donnie Darko’ gets very – perhaps uncomfortably – specific , detailing an abusive childhood atop, of all things, a danceable beat: “Cause the beatings just get harder and we'll never grow them out / Cause the hand that does the dealings is the one that feeds your mouth.” A lot of things remain unclear: is this an account of personal experiences or the telling of another’s story? Is the celebratory musical backdrop meant as sarcasm…triumph?While the meanings remain open-ended, it stands in beautiful contrast to the enigmatic tones that I’m All Ears initially set out with, while also serving as clear evidence of growth over the course of just one record. Quite frankly, it’s amazing.

While the long, winding epics provide the best snapshots of I’m All Ears’ most towering moments, this is anything but a hit-or-miss album. The more straightforward tracks still thrive: ‘It’s Not Just Me’ feels like a lost Chvrches hit, bouncing excitedly atop vibrant synths; ‘Falling Into Me’ revives a good deal of the experimental overture that was ‘Hot Pink’, allowing various electronic, industrial, and pop influences to somehow harmoniously collide; ‘I Will Be Waiting’ and ‘Ava’ are vulnerable sounding ballads that each bring something different to the table. If there’s weakness it’s in the shorter interlude tracks, which are musically adept but find themselves feeling out of place – case-in-point being ‘Whitewater’, which sounds brooding and ominous only to lead right into the sprightly, almost punk-y sounding ‘Hot Pink.’ Tonal mismatches aside, though, Let’s Eat Grandma more or less hit the nail on the head with their sophomore effort. It’s brazen and imaginative, but also wholly accessible. It builds on the project’s meeker indie roots by branching out into more accessible territory, without ever selling out or betraying the group’s identity. In short, it’s a shining example of personal and musical growth. There’s something to be said for toeing the line between fervent experimentation and enjoyable song craft; here, Let’s Eat Grandma walk it effortlessly.



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user ratings (83)
Chart.
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
June 29th 2018


26966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Had to get something out for this. An admittedly quick writeup, but I feel like it gets the point across. A worthwhile listen for fans of experimental/electronic/avant-garde pop.

Digging: Collections Of Colonies Of Bees - HAWAII

foxblood
June 29th 2018


9271 Comments


Saw this band name for the first time the other day, guess I gotta check at some point.

Lucid
June 29th 2018


9790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This sounds nothing like Sophie (other than the first single which she co-produced). Kimbra is a better comparison if we're gonna make connections in 2018.



Not entirely convinced by the songwriting here, but it's intriguing enough. Tentative for now.

DoofusWainwright
June 29th 2018


20000 Comments


After one listen think they’ve sadly blandified

Digging: The The - Infected

Anthracks
June 29th 2018


6176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gets pretty annoying by the end but a couple memorable songs at least

Digging: Molested Divinity - Desolated Realms Through Iniquity

Gyromania
June 30th 2018


25348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Worst band name ever

bloc
June 30th 2018


50780 Comments


Band name is hilarious and has forced me to judge this book by its cover

Digging: Oubliette (USA) - The Passage

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 30th 2018


26966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

You all need to check Snakes & Ladders, Cool & Collected, and Donnie Darko today. Please don't judge this album on the singles, especially not Hot Pink.

FreddieDelaney31
June 30th 2018


4040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

God this came out of nowhere, was determined not to check because of the dumb name so glad I did

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AsleepInTheBack
June 30th 2018


5804 Comments


Sounds like an interesting variant of Sowing-core, and neat review too, spiritual pos

polyrhythm
June 30th 2018


1920 Comments


Will be checking. I liked their debut and they were great live

Astral Abortis
June 30th 2018


6499 Comments


this looks rlly cool, gonna check


Digging: Hopesfall - Arbiter

TundraL5Z
June 30th 2018


1482 Comments


This is like a 5 compared to the new Chvrches record lol

Digging: Covet - effloresce

Lucid
June 30th 2018


9790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I enjoy the free-flowing and expansive second half... first side don't do much for me.

NorwichScene
July 1st 2018


2559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Some really nice songs on this

Digging: Let's Eat Grandma - I'm All Ears

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 1st 2018


26966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Agreed that the second half is where the best material is. Two of the three long (6-11 min) songs are also on the back half and all three of those rule.

Tyler.
July 1st 2018


14899 Comments


bad band name

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 1st 2018


26966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Bad username

Tyler.
July 1st 2018


14899 Comments


lmao bet

TVC15
July 1st 2018


9632 Comments


Let’s Eat Out Grandma

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