The Grip Weeds

Summer of a Thousand Years

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No one will ever accuse the Grip Weeds of being the most innovative or forward-thinking band of the 1990s and 2000s. Their music is unapologetically retro-1960s and, even though Summer of a Thousand Years was recorded in 2001, it sounds like it could have been recorded in 1967. This CD sounds dated, but dated isn't necessarily a bad thing -- at least not if you hold the music of a particular era in high regard. And if you worship all things 1960s, Summer of a Thousand Years is dated in the best, most positive sense of the word. The Grip Weeds offer no acknowledgment of 2001's alternative rock scene; their turf is the psychedelic pop/rock and jangly guitar pop of the 1960s, and they excel by sticking with the type of music that they obviously cherish the most. Retro gems like "Moving Circle," "She Surrounds Me," and "Love That Never Ends" aren't the least bit groundbreaking, but they're certainly rewarding and heartfelt -- if you've spent hours and hours savoring the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Yardbirds, and Revolver-era Beatles, it is impossible not to fall in love with Summer of a Thousand Years. The melodies are enriching, and lead singer Kurt Reil knows how to make the lyrics come alive. Although original material dominates the CD, Summer of a Thousand Years also contains an inspired remake of the Who's "Melancholia" (which finds lead guitarist Kristin Pinell singing lead, although Reil handles 90 percent of the album's lead vocals). Summer of a Thousand Years isn't for those who think that all rock releases have to be innovative (an unrealistic and foolish expectation), but it offers considerable rewards to lovers of 1960s rock.

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