Bands like The Grip Weeds usually aren’t built to last. The clichéd “personal and musical differences”, changing tastes and Father Time have brought down most of the greatest bands in history. And yet, some twenty years after their debut album House Of Vibes, The Grip Weeds continue to survive, thrive, surprise and innovate. They do it on their own terms, defiantly refusing to play the usual major label/name producer/big time studio game.
Critics, while praising The Grip Weeds, often try to pigeonhole them with the “Power Pop” label. This is a bit of a misnomer. While there are plenty of driving, poppy melodies, chiming guitars and close harmonies, The Grip Weeds’ releases have sported many different styles of original material, from Psychedelic and Garage Rock to Folk-based ballads and thought-provoking social commentary. This diversity has landed several Grip Weeds songs on the top of the Little Steven’s Underground Garage “Coolest Song In The World” list, as well as placed Grip Weeds music in several television and film projects. Their reputation as a top shelf live band has brought them to venues across the United States, and internationally, including the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas, Liverpool, England’s legendary Cavern Club, and several tours of Europe, among others.Family ties are strong in The Grip Weeds, as singer/drummer Kurt Reil is joined by his wife Kristin Pinell and brother Rick Reil, both singer/ guitarists: Kurt’s drum styles at times seem manic and driving, yet with a keen sense of timekeeping; Kristin’s growling, aggressive lead guitar lines are laced with style, emotion and impressive technique; Rick adds his own distinctive guitar and songwriting talents, and the family trio also spearheads the recording and production of The Grip Weeds’ music. The newest member is bassist Dave DeSantis, who’s held down bass duties for a number of top New Jersey bands before settling in with The Grip Weeds. All four Grip Weeds sing, and their group vocals have been acclaimed as one of the most distinctive and natural close harmonic blends working today.The Grip Weeds’ successful commercial recording studio (aka House Of Vibes) has played host to a number of diverse projects, including albums from New Jersey’s favorite sons The Smithereens, legendary vocalist Mark Lindsay and sessions with South African choral singers Ladysmith Black Mambazo. It is where The Grip Weeds have produced the lion’s share of their recording projects to date, starting with their 1994 debut album, which was remixed and expanded in 2007 as House Of Vibes Revisited. The Sound Is In You followed in 1998, Summer Of A Thousand Years in 2001, and Giant On The Beach in 2004. Following a 2008 compilation release, Infinite Soul: The Best Of The Grip Weeds on Little Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool record label, the band began work on their soaring 2010 double CD/LP Strange Change Machine. The holiday-themed project Under The Influence of Christmas came at the close of 2011, followed in 2012 by Speed Of Live: In Concert In New Jersey CD and its companion DVD, Live Vibes, videotaped live in the studio at the House Of Vibes. Rounding out two decades of recordings is the 2013 rarities collection Inner Grooves (Rare And Under-Released Tracks).
2015 brings what may be The Grip Weeds most ambitious project to date: their sixth studio album, How I Won The War, named after the 1966 Richard Lester motion picture. John Lennon’s character in Lester’s film, “Musketeer Gripweed” inspired the band’s name, and the cover design pays homage to the cult classic movie. Building on the classic Grip Weeds sound while growing and advancing beyond all expectations, How I Won The War promises to blow our minds once again, from a band that is truly “built to last”.
How I Won The War – The new album by The Grip Weeds
Available NOW from Jem Recordings.
For more info go to http://www.gripweeds.com
“The ‘Fab’ Grip Weeds offer up 17 swirling, slightly trippy sonic land mines that are simultaneously catchy as hell and slightly dangerous… Don’t miss this one.”
-John Borack, Contributing Editor, Goldmine Magazine
RAY PAUL to open the show @ 8pm!
From his roots growing up in Rochester, New York, RAY PAUL was heavily influenced by the energy and excitement created by the first British Invasion, especially The Beatles, and the classic pop songwriting of the ’60’s. After moving to Boston in August 1976, RAY PAUL released two solo singles, and the album “Go Time” with his group RPM. This is the music that makes up most of the 18 Track Collection “The Charles Beat (Best Of The Boston Years 1977-1981 & Now).” After 15 years away from the stage, RAY PAUL teamed up with pop legend EMITT RHODES to perform together at the Poptopia Festival in Los Angeles in 1997. Recently, RAY PAUL & EMITT recorded the brand new single (being worked at A/C & AAA radio) which leads off “The Charles Beat” cd. RAY PAUL and a “Special Guest All-Star Band” will be performing at the International Pop Overthrow Festival in Los Angeles at The Gig in West L.A. on Saturday, July 22nd.
WHAT THE CRITICS WERE SAYING WAY BACK WHEN:
“Boston club favorites RAY PAUL & RPM have recorded an album and it blows away a good portion of the recent offerings of the big-time labels. ‘Go Time’ is a fresh, irresistible collection of well-crafted ’60’s-style pop tunes. RAY PAUL has a McCartney-esque talent for melody…and best of all, PAUL & RPM sound like they truly respect pop. There’s no new wave pretension, no ’80’s cynicism, just the energetic good will that made groups like The Grass Roots and The Raspberries so great. There are so many satisfying tracks here that it’s difficult to pick favorites…it’s state-of-the-art pop.”
WHAT’S NEW/Boston, MA (October 1980)
“…RAY PAUL is still one of the very best power-poppers in the mold of early Artful Dodger…from the ashes of the Badfinger-Stories-Raspberries-Wackers school.”
“This is a disc that gives true meaning to the phrase ‘Power Pop.’ The music sounds as fresh and vital today as it did back when RAY PAUL & RPM regularly captivated Boston audiences.”
“The most popular acts to come out of Beantown are undeniably Aerosmith, The J. Geils Band and The Cars. However, one local scenester destined for greatness on a national scale was Power Pop maven RAY PAUL. As leader of RAY PAUL & RPM, and as a solo artist, the Paul McCartney look-alike set the town ablaze with his fiery, visceral brand of Beatlesque Pop. Now, ‘The Charles Beat’ provides ample proof that PAUL should have followed in the footsteps of his more famous Boston musical comrades. The new compilation is an excellent musical primer for this underated artist.”
THE ROCK REPORT/FMQB
Event Date: October 24, 2015
Show time: 8pm
Ticket Price: $10 advance/ $15 day of show