Behind Beyond

Californian to their core, the Mother Hips know that life is nothing to get hung about. No matter what earthly concerns harsh our mellows, “man is not the man,” and we all wind up “back in the ocean.” So frontman Tim Bluhm sings on “Isle Not of Man,” the leadoff track on their eighth album. These self-styled “California Soul” survivors don’t fear a return to the Pacific, and on these slightly countrified psych-rock jams, they relight bonfires set by the Byrds, the Dead and the Beach Boys. “Jefferson Army” may be a commentary on libertarianism, but the Hips actually sound ready to take up arms and defend their state against the feds. Clearly, it’s a place worth dying for.


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