Creative Loafing
Tampa, FL
August 22, 2007

House of Vibes Revisited
The Grip Weeds
(Ground Up)

I don't recall ever receiving a reissue replete with state-of-the-art remix and bonus material -- from a band that I never heard of. I guess, after so many years of rock scribing, it was bound to happen. Enter The Grip Weeds, an indie quartet from New Jersey that took it upon themselves to give their 1994 debut album House of Vibes, a "new coat of paint." The result is an unexpected surprise. The Grip Weeds deftly blend '60s-style power-pop with elements of jangle, psychedelia and garage, most obviously referencing The Who, The Beatles and The Byrds. No, this is not original-sounding stuff, but it's damn catchy and well-executed. The original LP was recorded on a home 8-track in the house where the band lived; for this project, they digitized the material, cleaned it up and gave it more oomph. Thankfully, the makeover doesn't sterilize the music, but it does modernize it. Filling out the package are a handful of demos, a live acoustic radio broadcast and a couple of live electric numbers. 3.5 stars --Eric Snider