[29 June 2008]
Taking a leaf out of the power-pop book initially opened by Big Star, The Grip Weeds have built on their admiration for bands like The Who, The Byrds and, especially, Revolver-era Beatles and banged out pure psych-blasts of harmonious, jangle-pop with vigor and originality. And just like Big Star, the New Jersey quartet never got the widespread recognition they deserved. Now after a four-year recording hiatus, they are back with a new label, Little Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records, and a one-song invitational “She Brings the Rain”, a powerful slice of melodious pop full of skittering drums and scything guitar lines, lifted from sessions for their upcoming fifth LP and tacked on the end of this collection of 15 hits you never heard of. The compilation spans the group’s entire recording output so far, including two bonus tracks, the folk-pop demo “Edge of Forever” and the acoustic nugget “It Ain’t No Big Thing, Babe”, which were added to their remastered 1994 debut House of Vibes last year, and four songs (containing psych-pop standouts “Infinite Soul” and “Closer To Love”) taken from their best album so far, 2004’s Giant On the Beach. Overall, a great entry point to a magical body of work. And, hopefully, a shining augury of things to come.