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Semiurban Cartography
Portland, OR
08-25-07

Grip Weeds: Hail The New Lost Classics

The Grip Weeds are named for the John Lennon character in a 1967 comedy How I Won The War, a plain on-the-face, tip-of-the-hat to the era they so delightfully mine. An acclaimed power-pop quartet, now four albums into what is a thrilling discography, this Central New Jersey spawned band is proof that the 60’s rock revival just keeps going. This particular strain of era worship can be characterized as largely Revolver driven. There are a lot of moments throughout the redux of their first album House of Vibes (Revisited) reminiscent of classic Who energy, pulling harmonious connections to The Byrds and guitar splashes a la Jimmy Paige. The Grip Weeds are cultishly followed on the internet (featured religiously on “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” who has three times given them “Coolest Song In The World” cache) for their brash commitment to explosive, guitar driven edginess, the kind of thing that thrills both the nostalgia set and the ever-finicky modern rock enthusiast.

The album House of Vibes was initially released in 1994, but has since taken on a 21st Century face lift 13 years in the making. Re-engineered and buttressed with twice as many tracks, the new fangled creation loses none of its original charms, and would clearly stand in with a foot in each era as an almost peerless recording. Almost any of the original tracks are stunning (particular favorites, “Close Descending Love” and “Always Come”) and the demo/live acoustic bonus tracks stand out from ordinary re-issue album filler. Sure, the interview pieces are somewhat aggrandizing, but that’s just par for the course. Whatever the access point, either this or other albums (The Sound Is In You is a downright classic) the Grip Weeds are assembling an archive of new/lost classics.

House of Vibes