March 23, 2015

The Grip Weeds – <i>How I Won the War

The Grip Weeds – How I Won the War (Jem recordings):

The sharp eyed among you will notice that How I Won The War is also the title of the 1967 film in which John Lennon played a character called…wait for it…Private Gripweed! Of course, The Grip Weeds have mined the Fabs influence for many years, mixing in The Who, The Move, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane and many others, all the while making each of their albums sound all their own, including this, their sixth effort. How I Won The War may be their most rugged album yet, with drummer Kurt Reil’s Moon-like chops really coming to the forefront, but never overpowering the band’s patented full-bodied harmonies. Try and resist ‘60s inspired gems like “Life Saver”, “See Yourself”, “Vanish”, and their former label name-check, “Rainbow Quartz”. Kurt Reil’s gritty lead vocals are the perfect counterpoint to his brother Rick’s smoother tones, and fortunately on this album we’re treated to guitarist Kristin Pinell’s lead singing on “Over And Over” (let’s hear even more of her on the next album!). All in all, How I Won The War ranks up there with The Grip Weeds’ best, and that ain’t no easy task!