Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
The Grip Weeds
The Sound is in You
by Ben Collins
Prior to receiving Rainbow Quartz's reissue of their 1998 album, The Sound is in You, I had never heard a Grip Weeds album. Because of this, can't determine if the remixing and remastering of the album noticeably improved its sound, nor can I discern if the resequencing and expanded liner notes make for a more effective presentation. I can, however, state with a fair amount of confidence that the reissue disc, taken simply on its own accord, is an exceptionally enjoyable one for any fans of psychedelic pop or just pop in general.
The Sound is in You plays like a lost collection of '60s pop gems. After a minute long psychedelic intro, the band launches into the Kinks-style rocker "Every Minute," a track that simultaneously reminds the listener of so many of the things that were right with the second half of the '60s and whets their appetite for what's to come. Over the next 16 tracks, the band runs through the original album, convincingly delivering one quality track after another. While never showy, The Grip Weeds are an exceptionally technically proficient band. Drummer Kurt Reil pushes the rockers to their logical limit and gives the softer tracks just the right amount of swing, while "In Waking Dreams" and "We're Not Getting Through" feature impressive, but tasteful guitar solos. The harmonies are also right-on throughout the album, making what are already solid hooks even stronger.
In addition to straight-ahead power pop, The Grip Weeds also tackle jangle pop on the Byrds-esque "Strange Bird" and "Morning Rain" and acoustic rock on "What I Believe is You" and "A Piece of my Own." In addition to expanding the band's musical palette, these songs also allow them to cull more musical tricks from their influences; the reverb-laden lead guitar and soft harmonies on "What I Believe is You" create an authentic sense of desolation while the chimey guitars on "Strange Bird" open up space to really let the group's harmonies take center stage.
The only complaint that one could levy against this collection is that many of the songs run together over the album's almost hour length. There are so many good parts and so many good songs, that the listener is a bit overwhelmed by the consistent quality and left wondering if the album could have been even stronger had the band been more adept at editing themselves.
The reissue also contains two bonus tracks added to the end of the album: a take of The Left Banke's "Lazy Day" that ups the rock quotient of the original a bit and an energetic version of The Move's "I Can Hear the Grass Grow." While these two tracks are perfectly enjoyable and prove that the Grip Weeds are just as capable with classic songs as their own, I'd be hesitant to say that they warrant a re-purchase of the album for fans who own the original version The Sound is in You. Still, these two tracks, along with a cover of Neil Young's "Down to the Wire" that's part of the original album, fit in with the rest of The Sound is in You seamlessly, which is just about the highest compliment that one could pay The Grip Weeds.