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Kiss the Crystal Flake

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iTunes Review

Chico, California’s Mother Hips play heartland rock that sounds as if you’ve tuned in an AOR radio station from the ‘70s. Their warm, tight Bread-like harmonies, solid Neil Young guitar tones, and well-schooled songwriting inform the best tracks of this solid comeback album and create a modest déjà-vu buzz as the guitars and organs (from notable Cali-songwriter Jackie Greene on two tracks) pile up like so many Tom Petty albums. (The group had been in various stages of hiatus for the past few years, issuing solo projects and only the 2006 EP Red Tandy). Singers Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono share vocal duties and the gentle shifts from pop to country make for a welcome variety. Whether the band immerses itself in the lazy, wasted vibe of “Let Somebody,” the charged retro-rocking of “White Hills,” or the simple Southwestern gallop of “Not So Independent,” the Mother Hips are that bar band that immediately makes you feel comfortable with new friends that feel as if you’ve known them all your life.

Customer Reviews

Why isn't this band famous?

These guys are so damn good. BUY THIS ALBUM. SEE THEM LIVE. Confirmation of Love, White Headphones, TGIM, and of course the classic Grizzly Bear are all stand-out tracks. But one should experience the whole album front to back. Instant classic.

The more listens the better it gets,

and that's the best kind of music. Until DRM is abolished don't buy this off of iTunes. Download it at Fast Atmosphere, and you can avoid the protected BS! Lately, I won't buy anthing from iTunes until the lame record companys wize up and stop being such hypocrites...

An old fan, yes, but this is all new

Must I start off with, "If you haven't checked out the Hips yet, you gotta get in on this one"? No (so sample previous efforts anyway, mates). This band is one of my favorites, from college; but this collection of songs is by far their best, most agile efforts. Who gets older, disbands, reunites and gets better? Over the last several angst-filled years I found myself revisiting only a spattering of favorites from their last three LPs. KTWF is solid throughout; like a greatest hits? There is no genre hopping or stylistic musings. This record is document of where these men of varying (body) heights are NOW (despite the dated Oso song). Thanks boys.


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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Kiss the Crystal Flake, The Mother Hips
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