PRESS - UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF CHRISTMAS

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The Independent (UK)
December 23, 2011

Album: The Grip Weeds, Under the Influence of Christmas (Rainbow Quartz)
4 STARS4 STARS4 STARS4 STARS
By Andy Gill

New Jersey psych-rockers The Grip Weeds draw on a different musical heritage here, with covers of Jethro Tull and Greg Lake sprinkled among the standards and originals.

Their style is a mixture of proggy, British Invasion pop-rock – with plenty of phasing and Keith Moon-ish drum fills on "Christmas, Bring Us", and wailing-harmonica-laced skinny-white-boy blues raunch like "Santa Make Me Good" – and Byrdsy folk-rock, their harmonies and jangly 12-string Rickenbacker transforming "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" into a first cousin to "Turn! Turn! Turn!".

Members of Paul Revere & the Raiders and The Left Banke ae drafted in to lend period charm to songs in their style, the latter sounding right at home among the harpsichord and Mellotron of "For the Holidays".