Harlem – Hippies 8.7

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5 jun 2010, 04:57

In a world where 60s garage rock revival bands roam the Earth, I usually sort of tune these kinds of albums out. Sure, there are some good ones that do it right, like the Jacuzzi Boys or Black Lips, but even those fine bands lose their energy at a certain point. (Case in point, “Island Avenue” lost a lot of its charm in the album version, which watered down the force of the chorus). Black Lips muck around a bit too much in the sludge field of sound and lose whatever catchiness they originally possessed.

So it came as a surprise when I heard Hippies for the first time. I started with “Poolside” first, since I rarely listen straightforward start to finish. Shocked, I put the whole thing on and could not detect one moment when they rested for a bit. Not a single slow track could be found in all 16! The punch from the first track goes into the next one, and into the next one.

Everything can be sung along to. There’s a nice surfer vibe to the proceedings, and it comes in clear but not too clear, kind of that fidelity sweet spot. And in case the music wasn’t fun enough, all of the lyrics reference some form of silly meandering. Nothing overstays its welcome on here, which is a huge bonus from those bands that figure you need a 13 minute jam of boringness.

It is so cohesive; there really isn’t a moment where you wonder “Perhaps they could’ve cut this”. Only 40 minutes, it flies by in ways that most albums (or hell, even EPs) don’t. All filler got cut; this is a lean, mean Hippie machine.

Harlem
Jacuzzi Boys
Black Lips

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