Album Review: The Grip Weeds — House of Vibes Revisited
The 1980s and 90s saw the rise of a rock subgenre/movement dubbed the “paisley underground.” Populated by groups who bowed at the altar of mid-period Beatles and the other finer psych-rock of that era, many of these groups were called to task by critics for their (some said) too-slavish devotion to the sounds of old. As the argument went, they didn’t offer anything new. But some of the best (The Bangles, Rain Parade, Plasticland) had moments where their original tunes held their own against the older stuff. Eventually the paisley underground era faded, as did many of its leading groups. But in 1994 The Grip Weeds came on the scene, offering a newer twist. They captured the vibe of the early pop/rock/psych, but they didn’t attempt to ape the sound, and — most importantly — their songs were top notch. The Grip Weeds continue today, turning out excellent albums every few years. Now their first album House of Vibes gets the reissue treatment, with a fresh remix and a sampling of live-on-the-radio and acoustic bonus tracks. Not merely for genre fans, this is a disc that belongs in the collection of any fan of melodic, driving rock.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.