October 19 - October 25, 1995

Quick Scans

The Mother Hips

Part-Timer Goes Full
American Recordings
3 Stars
THE FUNKY USE of a fuzz-wah guitar pedal on the opening "Shut The Door" is a signal these lads are willing to take some stylistic chances, and they mix up influences throughout Part-Timer. The slight Hendrix homage in w"Stoned Up The Road" is worth a smile (and some toe-tapping), while "Poison Oak" comes off like The Animals meeting The Allman Brothers--now there's a combination one doesn't hear every day! Some quirky arrangements and subtle vocal harmonies also help The Mother Hips define their own territory. I can't really describe exactly what territory that is, and maybe that's why this is so fun.
--Timothy Gassen


Wrecking Ball
3 Stars
THE SOUNDS FLOAT from the speakers across the room, materializing in front of you like the unspecified ghosts of half-dreams, pitched in the gray and sepia tones of ancient photographs pulled from your grandparents' scrapbooks. As produced by Daniel Lanois, the percussion doesn't rumble, but rustles; the guitars don't twang, but sigh; and the unusual wash of spectral, echoey effects maintains a somber pulse without ever sounding gimmicky.

The material reflects Harris' views on how our wires cross, how we sculpt heartbreak and then spend the rest of our lives chasing shadows. From Steve Earle's baleful recollections in "Goodbye" to Neil Young's restless, tentative "Wrecking Ball" to the numbed tragedy of Lucinda Williams' "Sweet Old World"--this record doesn't so much cast sermons as it offers private release.
--Fred Mills


Worship Guitars
3 Stars
IN ADDITION TO 74 minutes' worth of brain-melting psychedelia from one of the greatest Texas garage bands ever to stagger from den to rehearsal room, you also get a handy graph outlining the ratio of pot intake to listening enjoyment. Since these hemp farmers never toured, fans had to be content, anyway, with extended bong sessions grokking the three extant albums.

This postscript has loads of ferocious live gunk, fuzzed-out riffers falling somewhere between MC5, Black Sabbath and Hawkwind. A lighter, more sunbaked touch comes through on the studio material, most notably the 14-minute flute/Moog/guitar inner space excursion "Holger" which sprinkles a dash of peyote into the bowl.
--Fred Mills

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October 19 - October 25, 1995

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