July 23, 2003
The Sound is In You
The Sound Is In You is actually a reissue of The Grip Weeds' second album, released in 1998, and more than likely reissued due to the popularity of "Every Minute" on Little Steven's Underground Garage radio program. The album has also been remastered, and it includes two bonus tracks. As an album, it's pretty good stuff, even if it is a tad too long; after all, seventeen songs on an album that's not a greatest hits is a bit much. Thus, some songs are better than others, but The Grip Weeds are very much a band with a simple genius--and that is to rock.
While their look may be retro, and their music may attempt to be retro, they're anything but a typical retro band. If anything, they're a retro-retro band, recalling the parts of Jellyfish and The Posies where they were recalling the Raspberries, Flaming Groovies, Badfinger, Byrds...you get where we're going with this? As much as the music is indebted to past sounds, The Sound Is In You is actually a wonderful mix of sounds and styles, which in turn makes a record that rarely sounds dated. When they kick on the three-part harmonies--such as the "Paperback Writer"-inspired "Games," "Ready and Waiting," and "We're Not Getting Through," The Grip Weeds really win you over with their charm. Personally, I'd like to hear more vocals from Kristin Pinell, whose vocal turn on Neil Young's "Down to the Wire" is really quite good.
It's not hard to enjoy classic rock, and that's all The Grip Weeds are wanting to do--make enjoyable rock music, free of complications, bombast, or all those things that occasionally (read: always) make some (read: most) indie-rock music so tedious and unpleasant. While I'm not sure of the current status of The Grip Weeds, I'll admit that The Sound Is In You is a wonderful grower, proving that New York and Rock and Roll music existed way, way before 2001, and that there were good bands making music well before some yeah yeah yeahs decided to give guitar rock some strokes.