PRESS - SUMMER OF A THOUSAND YEARS

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The Sunday Times
November 4, 2001

On Record; Pop; Music
The Grip Weeds -- Summer of a Thousand Years : Rainbow Quartz RQTZ056 **


LIKE Cotton Mather, New Jersey's Grip Weeds are in thrall to the past. Their third album invokes vintage recordings by the Move or the Who, pitched at the mythical moment where pure pop struggled with the onset of rock, a self-styled “serious” music about to break the three-minute barrier. This it embodies a host of contradictions; Kristin Pinell’s guitar solos are both histrionic and utterly inspired; the cod sensitivity of Future Move follows the knockout beat-pop of Is It Showing. Then, suddenly, the slippery stomp of Changed dissolves into a sitar-infused drone and the Grip Weeds are absolved. Life and Love’s tabla percussion resonates in all the right regions; Pinell’s vocal on a cover of Pete Townshend’s Melancholia is suitably... melancholic; and the title track is the kind of slow-burning, snake-charming, psychedelic vamp nobody writes anymore, and maybe never did.

-- Stewart Lee