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Hot Stuff: Red Hot Chili Peppers Find the Groove Again

Red Hot Chili Peppers deliver one of their best recent albums in 2011. Red Hot Chili Peppers deliver one of their best recent albums in 2011.

Hey growers, once again we’ve got some suggestions for the soundtrack to your hydroponics lifestyle. This week we’ve got five interesting groups - some veterans and some relative newcomers. It’s a little bit of a mixed bag, as usual, but we’re kicking things off with the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers and following up with a couple of other bands who have made their way from the underground to major labels. And we’ve got another couple of groups, each with just their second full lengths recently released. Now let’s get to what’s been rocking us at Rosebud Magazine this week.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are veritable music legends. Like many long running bands, the Chilis have a bit of a spotty track record when it comes to quality releases, but on I’m With You they have harnessed the energy of their early days and combined that with some solid songwriting to make an awesome new record. Flea’s basslines, Chad Smith’s drumming, and John Klinghoffer’s guitar playing all shine without stealing too much of the spotlight from the melodies and grooves that make up this fantastic album.

 

Thrice – Major/Minor

Long a band that marches to their own beat, Thrice have created another album of outside-the-box rock with Major/Minor. The band continues to craft a seamless conflation of a variety of influences, spurning all genre tags that would pigeonhole them as post-hardcore, emo, or even experimental. The simple fact is that Thrice has found a way to be unique without being off the map entirely, just as they’ve managed to be accessible without being generic. Major/Minor is a confident, powerful album by a veteran rock band.

 

We Were Promised Jetpacks – In the Pit of the Stomach

The Scottish indie-rock quartet follows up their 2009 debut with In the Pit of the Stomach, a strong sophomore release by any standard. WWPJ play guitar-driven, heart-on-the-sleeve, rock n’ roll confessionals with energy to spare, and that hasn’t changed with the new record. This record recalls some of the great ‘90s underground bands that were pouring out energetic, passionate music before the word “emo” became a ridiculous joke. But We Were Promised Jetpacks are not some knock-off outfit. Rather, they’re building their own structure on a well-laid indie rock foundation.

 

Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost

Okay, so the San Francisco retro garage-pop duo are critical darlings. Big deal, right? Well, this time the critics got it right. Father, Son, Holy Ghost is our second sophomore release this week to turn its nose up at the “sophomore jinx”. Girls have produced a ‘60s and ‘70s drenched album brimming with gentle hooks. The album is infectious, stirring, and unique despite wearing its influences on its sleeve. Give this one a spin.

 

Portugal The Man – In the Mountain In the Cloud

We’re throwing this one in last this week because we’re a little late to the party. Portugal the Man released In the Mountain In the Cloud back in the summer, but with the sheer number of records flying around this office, some things get lost in the shuffle. But that won’t keep us from giving praise where praise is due. Here we have a lush album drenched in psychedelia that is equal parts gorgeous and catchy. Like the aforementioned Girls album, there’s a strong retro quality to Portugal the Man, but the Alaska group nevertheless manage to carve out a sound completely their own. This is one of those records you want to share with everyone. It’s that good.

 

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It's been almost 30 years since Red Hot Chili Peppers debuted with this video in 1984.
Last modified on Thursday, 12 July 2012 14:57

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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