American Recordings

Going back to Back to the Grotto

Friday, June 1st, 2012 | musiX | 1 Comment

San Francisco by way of Chico, Californ-I-A four-piece the Mother Hips have gone through loads of changes over the past two decades. The band is currently in the studio working on a new record—their eighth long player—but we’re here to talk about what went down back in 1992 … you know, the year Nirvana’s Nevermind hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart, Quentin Tarantino made his directorial debut with Reservoir Dogs, a tribute to Freddie Mercury was held at Wembley Stadium …

… it was a long time ago. In a galaxy far, far away. I was just out of high school, not yet living in Chico. The Mother Hips released their debut Back to the Grotto in February of 1992, and eventually put out on Rick Rubin’s American Recordings. It was largely overlooked at the time (you’d be hard-pressed to find any ink on the record), but it’s a seminal release for the band. Intertwining guitars and vocals support Tim Bluhm’s playful, confessional lyrics. The album seamlessly brings together British Invasion melodies, Dead-like extended passages, California pop harmonies. Listening to it again, it’s hard to believe this is a debut album. The Hips simplified their sound over the following years, but have since embraced the elements that make Grotto great.

In true 2012 fashion, the Mother Hips are planning to play the album in its entirety on June 15 at San Francisco’s Independent. What’s more, the band is offering the record for free download through June 2. It’s your chance to discover a lost gem. It’s the hippiest, unhip thing you’ll do all day … or the hippest, unhippie thing. Either way, you’ll be glad you did.

“Precious Opal”The Mother Hips

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