Why did America have to fall in love with the glitz of Southern California when the scene in the Bay Area was always so much hipper? Why did pop music have to take a left turn at Jesus Jones and never look back? The new album by The Mother Hips comes from a planet Earth where those questions never had to be asked. True pop-rock hasn't sounded this honest and this confident in 30 years-not to mention this good.
Guitar tones that recall the Turtles‚ vocals and production worthy of Pet Sounds‚ and just oozing with the California dream electric‚ Kissing the Crystal Flake is what modern rock should have grown to be. The Mother Hips are so comfortable with themselves on this new disc that it's nearly impossible to distinguish between the writing styles of guitarists Tim Bluhm and Greg Lociano-solid melodies‚ hook-laden choruses and accessible yet off-kilter rock 'n' roll. While "No-Name Darrell" is a smashing cohesion of Television and the Foo Fighters‚ other tracks evoke The Byrds and Neil Young just as easily. I can't grasp why "Time We Had" isn't all over the radio right now-it's the hit single that could give this band the resurrected notoriety they deserve.