The Guardian (uk)
December 8, 2011
The Grip Weeds: Under the Influence of Christmas – review
by Michael Hann
Powerpop, especially the kind that takes its cues from the mid-60s, seems like a good choice for Christmas albums. After all, when is the sound of the Rickenbacker guitar ever described as anything but "chiming"? And veteran New Jersey powerpoppers the Grip Weeds offer chiming guitars by the sleighful on their entry into the Santa market. Their claim that Under the Influence of Christmas offers "lysergic eggnog" rather overstates its mindbending and its festive qualities alike, but the fun never has the forced feel of board games on a cabin-feverish Boxing Day. The standout is Santa Make Me Good, with former Paul Revere & the Raiders singer Mark Lindsay offering knowing winks to his own past over a stirring garage riff: "It's been a really good year, Santa. I had my fun, I got my kicks – if you know what I mean." Decent originals, with plenty of oomph, are supplemented by some well-judged covers – the Pretenders' 2,000 Miles suits their sound to the ground. Worth a punt if you're looking for an alternative to yet another novelty reading of Sleigh Bells.