Iowa City Press-Citizen
Iowa City, Iowa
Thursday, August 16, 2007
CD Reviews

The Grip Weeds

"House of Vibes Revisited"

Ground UP

Hailing from central New Jersey, The Grip Weeds is an extremely close-knit rockyroll quartet showcasing brothers Rick (guitars, keys, vox) and Kurt (drums, vox) Reil and Kurt's wife Kristin Pinell (lead guitars, backing-vox) with four full-length discs to its credit. Original bassist Mick Hargreaves subsequently has been replaced by Michael Kelly.

"House of Vibes," the group's dazzling debut disc named for the home studio in which it was recorded, originally came out in 1994; despite its indie origins and limited distribution, the long-out-of-print DIY gem accumulated wonderful press and achieved near-legendary status in the power-pop pantheon.

Jersey homeboy Steve Van Zandt (E Street Band, "The Sopranos") embraced and championed the pop-fueled, psychedelic garage-rockers on his nationally syndicated radio show, "Little Steven's Underground Garage," with "Salad Days" (from this set) just one of FOUR Grip Weeds songs -- so far -- to receive Little Steven's highest citation: "The Coolest Song in the World."

Showcasing great original material (by the brothers Reil and Hargreaves), too-cool sibling harmonies and sizzling chops, "House of Vibes Revisited" presents a beautifully re-mixed/re-mastered edition of this minor classic, adding copious notes, bonus demo tracks and live (both acoustic and electric) cuts from the early '90s (plus extra goodies for PC consumption).

Highly recommended.