By Chris M. Junior
In this a la carte, single-song digital download era, the arrival of a double studio album in 2010 certainly conjures up images from a different time in music. But when the band behind the two-disc effort is The Grip Weeds, then the old-school format makes perfect sense.
From its sound to its look, the New Jersey foursome gives off a cool ‘60s/early ‘70s vibe, so as one might expect, the 24-song “Strange Change Machine” touches upon their main influences. There’s plenty of power pop, some gritty garage rock and even splashes of psychedelia. Highlights include the early Who-like “Speed of Life,” the snarling “Don’t You Believe It,” the John Lennon-ish “Nothing’s Ever Gonna Be the Same” and a faithful version of the Todd Rundgren hit “Hello It’s Me.”
The bottom line: There are good songs spread across both discs. So while The Grip Weeds themselves acknowledge the debate over the validity of the double-album format, they make a very strong case for its continued existence with “Strange Change Machine.”
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