Written By: Brent Black
I changed the name of this site to Not Just Jazz due largely in part to the fact I like to take a sonic walk on the wild side and challenge my comfort zone by taking the melodic road less traveled. The Son Of Hippies seem to dig the same trip as their new release Griffons At The Gates Of Heaven defies strict categorization and should leave most critics if not record executives scratching their collective heads.
A good producer can take mediocre talent to the next level or attempt to tweak good talent in such a fashion that they crash and burn before they really ever get started. Sons Of Hippies hit the jack pot in legendary producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, L7) with the end result being a sound that while edgy, raw and organic blends a power chord intensity with a progressive lyrical flow that is zen like in simplicity and with a strange commercial viability that seems to leap out at you on first spin. This somewhat conceptual offering takes a look at man in the post modern cyber age and the loss of the humanistic approach in communication. Those that travel in my cultural inner circle know this is about as far outside my comfort zone as I have ever dared to tread yet…I really dig this. This is neo grunge with substance and highly addictive performances turned in from Katherine Kelly on vocals, guitar and sitar along with Jonas Canales on drums, korg, percussion and vocals. Soul pumpkin Dave Daley ties up the harmonic loose ends on bass with the overall sound of the band going well past the traditional three chord power trio more closely associated with efforts such as this. Truly mind blowing.
A rare release that is literally all things to all tastes. Vibrant and intense yet mixed with a retro beatnik feel reminiscent of some early Jefferson Airplane. Expanding your comfort zone is always a good thing, Sons Of Hippies makes psychedelic rock viable again with a dramatic offering in Griffons At The Gates Of Heaven.
4 and 1/2 stars. The future and sound of real progressive rock for the next generation.
Tracks: Forward; Mirrorball; Dark Daisies; Rose; Spaceship Ride; Man Or Moon; Magnets; Blood In The Water; Whatever We Spend; Minute x Minute; Animal Battle; Cautionary Tale.
Personnel: Katherine Kelly: Vocals, Guitar, Sitar; Jonas Canales: Drums, Korg, Percussion, Vocals; David Daly: Bass, Vocals; SPECIAL GUESTS: Billy Sherwood: Mellotron, Moog; Tom Klimchuck: Acoustic Guitar on “Minute x Minute”; Jurgen Engler: Audio Oscillation on “Spaceship Ride” & “Man or Moon.”