Time We Had by The Mother Hips on Grooveshark

The Figure 11 by The Mother Hips on Grooveshark

Few bands have arrived more fully formed than The Mother Hips. Stepping into the world in 1992 – looking as charmingly scruffy and fresh-faced as any young band has ever looked – Tim Bluhm (vocals, guitar), Greg Loiacono (vocals, guitar), Isaac Parsons (bass, vocals), and Mike Wofchuck (drums) did not come on like a bunch of college novices knocking out their first long-player. No, the band's debut release Back to The Grotto (1992) was the sound of a benevolent, odd gang aching to make its mark in rock's grand book. You can practically smell the ambition and keep-them-up-at-night sweats in just the first few minutes. Hungry might be a simpler way of saying it, but plenty of bands are famished, and The Hips came on like guys who believed even in their formative days that they were going to get a spot at the big table or die trying – and given that Grotto ranks handily with the firsts from Badfinger and Moby Grape, it was reasonable to share that belief.

Over 20 years later, The Mother Hips have indeed found their place at the table as true indie music pioneers. They've worked with or played alongside a slew of renowned colleagues, including Wilco, Johnny Cash, super producer Rick Rubin, and many others. Many of their releases, including Part-Time Goes Full (1995) and The Green Hills of Earth (2001) have become almost cult classics among indie music buffs. And of course, the band has amassed a significant and enthusiastic following – a fan base that keeps growing, as evidenced by the successful release of 2007's Kiss the Crystal Flake.

With Pacific Dust (2009), the band's latest album, The Mother Hips finally get the chance to tell their story, their way. Born of long days and nights on the road, gritty politics, and smart inward reflections, the music on the disc is delivered with a most appealing balance of Americana storytelling and California-burnished rock. Hailed by critics for their "rootsy mix of '70s rock and power pop" (Pitchfork.com) and for their unflinching ability to "sing it sweet and play it dirty" (The New Yorker), on Pacific Dust The Hips display their signature sound in a way that rings out more genuine and relevant than ever before.

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