by Rob Duguay
Outside of bands like The Doors and current kickass acts like Torche, Against Me! and Hot Water Music, whenever I think of Florida a buzzing music scene is the furthest thing from my mind. My mind is usually filled with disturbing thoughts of old people, beach front property, hurricanes and Micky Mouse. Recently though, I've discovered a very cool shoegaze acid rock band out of Tampa called Sons Of Hippies and their new album Griffons At The Gates Of Heaven and it blew me away with the uniquely amazing guitar riffs these guys produce. Definitely an album by one of those bands that the masses haven't heard of yet, but give it time and they surely will.
Griffons At The Gates Of Heaven was in the hands of a few legendary producers before it got released. Including the likes of Jack Endino (who was in legendary Seattle band Skin Yard and also produced Nirvana's and Mudhoney's debut albums) mixing it along with Andy Walter mastering it at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. If the people behind the scenes on Sons Of Hippies' new album doesn't show you enough credibility, then be like the rest of us and just press play. There's a psychedelic aura, down & dirty riff rock and an otherwordly vocal quality that sets this album apart from a lot of stuff I've heard so far in 2013,
Just like Summer, sometimes reviewing an album can be as easy as spending the day at the beach with a six-pack. Also just like Summer, sometimes reviewing an album can be as hard as keeping an ice cube from melting in the hot sun. Needless to say, Griffons At The Gates of Heaven is pretty damn good and a breath of fresh air. There are a few tracks that definitely stick out to me though, so here goes something:
The hook in "Blood In The Water" has been stuck in my head for the past few days, like a really good disease without any cure. "Spaceship Ride" is a pure modern psychedelic rock song with the cool drums, groovy bass line and epic breakdowns giving everything you could ask for is a great track. "Forward" has a very shoegazy chorus, reminding me a lot of My Bloody Valentine but having a lot more of a pop feel rather than a punk aesthetic. "Man Or Moon" exudes one of those awesome riffs that's abundant in nearly every track, I'm just a sucker for music that finds musical beauty in technical simplicity. If you're thinking that I'm going to let you just get away with reading my picks for top tracks and not get the album, you're dead wrong. Every track off of Sons Of Hippies' new album rocks and get it if you know what's good for you.
Unfortunately Sons Of Hippies won't be hitting New England anytime soon but maybe after they read this piece of music journalism they'll hit up this wonderful region of the northeastern United States. Until then, give Griffons at The Gates Of Heaven by Sons Of Hippies a listen and I promise you won't be disappointed.