Mental Hippie Blood

Pounds

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AllMusic Review by

Despite the band's absurd name and improbable location, Mental Hippie Blood are in fact a grunge band from Sweden. Yes, over the past few decades, the Swedes have made it a habit to ape virtually every style of American pop music with more precision than any other foreign country -- and occasionally, it must be said, with superior results. But try as they might, Mental Hippie Blood's particularly Soundgarden-esque brand of alternative metal often comes a tad too close to the source to be awarded any kudos. Still, while hardly original, the first half of their second album Pounds features a number of well-constructed tracks rich in restless moods and down-tuned counterpoint riffs topped by vocalist Michael Oran's powerful Chris Cornell-like delivery. The best among these has to be the stunning "Real as Rain," which combines the band's usual sludgy riffs with beautifully intertwining vocal melodies, shimmering strings, and acoustic guitars. A rather mundane second half notwithstanding, Pounds ably conveys an air of plodding despair that screams "Seattle" in every way.

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