In between tour dates, The Mother Hips have been in their San Francisco studio, putting finishing touches on their seventh full-length album, due for Fall 2009 release. A recent show preview by The New Yorker described the veteran Bay Area quartet as "a romping strain of countrified psychedelic power pop laced with traces of Merle Haggard, Barry Gibb, and the Eagles."
In 2007, The Mother Hips released their most diverse album to date 'Kiss The Crystal Flake', a critically-acclaimed effort, which followed up 2005's Red Tandy EP, and was the first full album for The Hips since 2001's Green Hills of the Earth. Featuring 12 new songs, Kiss The Crystal Flake reintroduced the world to The Hips', blending a natural psychedelia with their own 21st century musicianship and songwriting. It was produced by The Mother Hips with Badman Recording Co. founder Dylan Magierek (Mark Kozelek, Call and Response, Erlend Oye.)
Entirely recorded to analog tape during a five month period in 2006, this record has been heralded by critics -- including 4 star review in MOJO, and HARP (R.I.P) describing the LP as "beautifully intense pop of the highest order. The Hips’ fascination with pure sonic tomfoolery and enduring song structure make them a worthy successor to Badfinger, Television and others who illuminate rock's fundamental pleasures. ” The Hips stretched it out on this LP, bringing their rock harder, more dangerous, and weirder while flexing their most refined songwriting sensibilities to date . Of course, the record also stays true to the bands' signature dueling-guitar driven California "station-wagon" rock, soaring harmonies, and guitar crunch.
"That album was almost like a debut album for us,” said singer/guitarist Tim Bluhm. “It is very different from anything we recorded in the past. You know that saying about wishing you knew then what you know now? Kiss The Crystal Flake is that coming true."
Formed in 1991 at Chico State in Northern California, The Mother Hips have run the gamut of experiences as a band - from dorm band to buzz band to cult favorite. They took an extended break which nearly became a permanent one after the 2001 album’s release, but decided to reconvene a few years ago, first playing shows, and now as a full-fledged band, writing, recording and releasing new music. Mother Hips released three albums on Rick Rubin’s American Recordings between 1995 - 1997, and followed with their own independent release in 1999. The Hips have played shows supporting Wilco, Johnny Cash, Gomez, and Rodrigo Y Gabriela. 2007-2009 has brought non-stop national touring, dates in Europe, and heralded slots in festivals such as San Francisco's Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park and High Sierra Music Festival. The band will be hosting and curating their own two-day festival in Big Sur over Fourth of July weekend, 2009 at the historic Henry Miller Library.
“Many things have come our way,” explained singer/guitarist Loiacono. “Opportunities, challenges, gifts, hard times, misfortune…. Kiss the Crystal Flake is about embracing everything. It's about standing face to face with whatever comes.