December 25, 2001

Feature Album of the Week
The Grip Weeds -- Summer of a Thousand Years (Laughing Outlaw)

With a name borrowed from John Lennon’s character in How I Won The War and a sound that has its fair share of Brit influences, it may come as surprise to discover The Grip Weeds hail from New Jersey in the grand ol’ US of A..

Yep, no Springsteen for this Jersey four-piece: it’s more The Byrds meets The Who with dashes of the Smithereens and Matthew Sweet and slices of power pop and modern rock keeping them present.

Revolving around the songwriting team of brothers Rick and Kurt Reil – together with Kurt’s guitarist wife Kristin Pinell and bassist Mike Nattboy – there’s some pretty infectious hooks to be had.

On this, their third album, the likes of ‘Love That Never Ends’, ‘Save My Life’, ‘Don’t Look Over Your Shoulder’ and ‘She Surrounds Me’ demonstrate the Reil’s knack for penning a catchy tune and it’s these hooks that save us from retro hell.

If you’ve got a hankerin’ for some classic pop with a rockin’ sound, you could do a lot worse.

**** (Ged Langley)