BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Northern California’s Mother Hips seem to be garnering more attention in retrospect that they do with their regular releases. For example, a recent four disc compilation, Days of Sun and Grass, was intended to introduce the masses to their backstory, despite the fact that even after eight albums, the Hips boast only a cult following at best.
Regardless. Chronicle Man provides another primer for the uninitiated, and the mix of vague psychedelia and a ‘60s sensibility should offer enough ready references to bring them on board. Moby Grape, the Beau Brummels and Buffalo Springfield provide the most ready references, but the seamless harmonies, insistent grooves and over all sense of rock reliability also assure instant engagement. All eleven songs were rescued from the vaults courtesy of archivist and super fan David Dolger Schwartz, and with minimal exceptions, any one of them would fit neatly on one of their current LPs. Moreover, songs such as “Desert Song,” “Rich Little Girl” and “You Can’t Win” bolster the accessibility factor courtesy of a sweeping sound that practically begs instant engagement. These “Other Hips,” as Schwartz refers to these rarities, were clearly worth reviving, making the aptly dubbed Chronicle Man not only an ideal introduction for the novice, but an essential acquisition for ongoing enthusiasts as well.
DOWNLOAD: “Desert Song,” “Rich Little Girl,” “You Can’t Win”