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Back to the Grotto

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iTunes Review

Back in 1992 when countless college bands were aping their favorite grunge bands, Chico State University’s Mother Hips had more in common with the Black Crowes. Their debut album Back to the Grotto introduced four guys in their early 20s largely inspired by Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s tube-driven guitar crunch, the Allman Brothers’ penchant for making rock boogie harder than most, and the Grateful Dead’s knack for taking West Coast twang and jamming it out into the depths of the cosmos. “Hey Emilie” revealed that guitar players Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono could harmonize like siblings, recalling Brian and Carl Wilson one moment and Maurice and Barry Gibb the next. With the title-track, the Mother Hips somehow made complex (but tasteful) proggy arrangements flow and groove enough for surfer girls to dance to in backyard parties. “Stephanie’s for L.A.” was built on similar architectural blueprints, but with darker hues — like Dennis Wilson contributing vocals to On the Beach-era Neil Young. The riff rocking “Hot Lunch” cleverly contrasted a heavy bell-bottomed strut with more cerebral lyrics.

Customer Reviews

Buy It!!

Just a great album that gets better with each listen. Early Mother Hips at it’s best!


Formed: 1991 in Chico, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in Chico, CA, in 1991, earthy pop jam rockers the Mother Hips moved up from bar band status through a series of regional tours and built a sizable fan base in California. Songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Tim Bluhm, guitarist Greg Loiacono, bassist Isaac Parsons, and drummer Mike Wofchuck met in the dorms of Chico State in the early '90s. Loiacono and Bluhm's harmonies and country-tinged melodies honored California's musical past -- from Merle Haggard to the Beach Boys to Neil Young. Their...
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Back to the Grotto, The Mother Hips
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