The Mother Hips
Camera Records – 2009
Musicians: Tim Bluhm- vocals, guitar, keyboard/Greg Loiacono- guitar, vocals, piano/ Paul Hoaglin- bass, vocals, other stuff/John Hofer-drums, percussion
Track Listing: White Falcon Fuzz/Third Floor Story/Jess OXOX/ The Lion And the Bull/One Way Out/All In Favor/Pacific Dust/Young Charles Ives/Are You Free/Bandit Boy/Cheer Up Champ
The Mother Hips have been producing studio albums since 1992. They are based out of Southern California, and play a psychedelic rock groove that is almost like an overheard conversation in guitar. Their performances over the last seventeen plus years give the band a camaraderie that shines through the interplay of three guitar tracks weaving in and out of one another.
The songs on Pacific Dust seem to focus a lot on the mechanics of being a musician who is in it for the long haul. In White Falcon Fuzz, Bluhm draws parallels between his songwriting passions, his marriage, and his band. He describes sneaking into the kitchen in the middle of night to write down the song by the light of his refrigerator, and leaving his wife in bed. After contemplating the desire to believe that love will last, and faith that “the part that lasts/ is gonna be the good part,” Bluhm moves on to his musical career; “the world is saying/ that your rock and roll band can’t last/ if you haven’t got a really good singer?/ And you’re finding it rough to get yourself across/ getting lost in the white falcon fuzz/ if you are a good singer.”
The album closer, Cheer Up Champ has the ring of eternal truth; “Everything’s funny/ as long as its happening to somebody else.” The song then swirls off into a tangent of noise and melodic yearning. The Mother Hips may be the old guys in their genre, but their observations relating life and musicianship are valid. “It’s me that I’m fighting/ I’m riding back from a bad show/ I’m licking my wounds/ Yeah, you know I will go on.”
Pacific Dust creates soundscapes of electric guitar and pairs them with the observations of seventeen years on the road. While The Mother Hips don’t seem to have “hit the big time,” they do seem to be honest appreciators and critics of their own art. This album is solidly produced and pleasing.