At last, a Christmas album for fans of power pop and psychedelic rock! This 11-song collection is chock-full of yuletide tunes, traditional holiday songs and rock n' roll Christmas classics, all arranged in their own inimitable "sparkling, insanely catchy psych pop" style that will make you hear the colors and see the sounds of Christmas.
Little Steven's Underground Garage Radio Show chose The Grip Weeds’ first holiday single "Christmas, Bring Us" as 'The Coolest Song In The World', and it went on to become a perennial favorite among fans and radio programmers alike. So the band upped the ante with a full album of holiday goodness.
"We wanted to craft a collection of holiday songs that could be enjoyed year-round," said Kurt Reil of the Grip Weeds. "Good holiday music puts the listener in that warm, happy holiday mood. With this album, we've managed to send that joyful holiday feeling through the prisms of psychedelic and garage rock. You won't know whether to stand under the mistletoe or stare at if for hours."
Along with creating much lauded albums of their own, the Grip Weeds also own and operate the House of Vibes studio, which in recent years has captured the sounds of The Smithereens, Paul Revere alum Mark Lindsay, and Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas.
"A perk of operating a professional recording studio is that we get to become friends with artists we admire," Reil said. "We wanted to make Under The Influence of Christmas special, so we called on friends old and new to contribute."
For Under The Influence of Christmas, The Grip Weeds invited many special guest artists- many of whom they have worked with recently at The House Of Vibes, their own recording studio:
• Mark Lindsay (former lead singer of Paul Revere & the Raiders), Myke Scavone and Gar Francis (The Doughboys) on “Santa Make Me Good”, a new original Grip Weeds track
• Pat Dinizio and Jim Babjak (The Smithereens) on The Pretenders’ wistful holiday song “2000 Miles”
• George Cameron (The Left Banke) on “for The Holidays”, another new original Grip Weeds track
• Vince Grogan (Third Of Never, Buzzed Meg) on a rocking version of Jethro Tull’s “A Christmas Song”
• Pete Horvath, Rob Farrell (The Anderson Council) and Danny Adlerman on a very Who-like “Welcome Christmas” from How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
Under The Influence of Christmas is the anti-humbug for the discerning music fan who's looking for a hit of lysergic eggnog this holiday season.
"Veteran New Jersey powerpoppers the Grip Weeds offer chiming guitars by the sleighful on their entry into the Santa market...Worth a punt if you're looking for an alternative to yet another novelty reading of Sleigh Bells." - The Guardian (UK)
"This is the Christmas Album of the Year — and a good enough one to hopefully get the Grip Weeds the attention they’ve deserved for a decade-plus." - Sound+Vision
"Go on, add a little acid to Santa’s sherry." - Brum Beat
"The Grip Weeds have been blessed by no less than Little Steven (aka Bruce Springsteen's guitarist, Tony Soprano's consigliere, and proprietor of Wicked Cool Records). Their Under The Influence Of Christmas features guests from Paul Revere & the Raiders, the Smithereens, and the Left Banke on on a rousing mix of originals and less-than-predictable covers. Heavy, man!" - Hip Christmas.com
"This is what Power Pop is all about, people! All hail The Grip Weeds, the God's of Jingle Jangly guitars, sweet hooks, and rockin' rhythms!" - StubbysChristmas.com
"Their jangly guitars ring like church and sleigh bells, their organ chords glow like an open fire on which chestnuts roast, and their angelic harmonies would make their former choir masters beam with pride. With the Grip Weeds’ trademark sounds so full of holiday spirit and cheer, this record will put anyone who hears it, regardless of religious persuasion or Scrooge-like inclinations, under the influence of Christmas." - Baron Saturday
"The Grip Weeds pulled out all the stops to make this a distinctive, original, rock 'n roll take on Christmas..." - Mistletunes
"Under the Influence of Christmas is that rare holiday album that probably sounds as goodin the summer as it does in December." - Musoscribe
"Your Mojo-reading Uncle's perfect gift, sorted." - The Sunday Times (UK)
"Rock Christmas album of the year! Revel in those chiming Rickenbackers and soak up a true rarity - a great rock Christmas album that you'll actually want to hear again next year." - Maine Edge
"Four Stars...their harmonies and jangly 12-string Rickenbacker transform "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" into a first cousin to "Turn! Turn! Turn!"." - The Independent (UK)
track listing (click for preview)
1. Christmas Dream
2. Santa Make Me Good
3. 2000 Miles
4. A Christmas Song
5. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman
6. Merry Christmas All
7. I Believe in Father Christmas
8. For The Holidays
9. Christmas, Bring Us
10. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
11. Welcome Christmas