Lotus

Mrs. Hippie

Metal Blade Records, 2000

http://mrshippiemusic.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/25/2000

I realize that sometimes it's hard for readers to get excited about a record I may choose to review here that is over 20 years old. I can hear the comments now: "What, is this guy living in the past? Get with the times, Mister Critic!"

I come to this realization after receiving in the mail Lotus from the Swedish power metal/stoner rock trio Mrs. Hippie. Apparently their label wants me to get excited about a compilation disc from a band who has been broken up (for the most part) since 1996. But before I could say anything more, the disc started to play - and while this band isn't anything worth lighting up the sky about, they did have the potential to be something more than just common.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The trio - vocalist Joacim Cans, guitarist Christian Smedström and drummer Mike Vai - have some leanings toward the stoner rock genre, though they hardly begin to dip into the musical excesses that some bands tend to fall into. They're more than just that, just as they're more than just a typical power metal band. The chords have some crunch to them, but they don't try to cause the fretboards to smoke or the drums to start coming apart at the seams. This is a mixture, pure and simple - and it works.

Granted, it takes a little time for everything to really come together. Tracks like "Someone Else There" and "Lies" aren't the strongest material that the band has to offer. But as the band kicks into songs like "Going Home" and "Mother Nature Bleeds," the interaction between the musicians begins to really pay off.

There are the occasional moments of excess - most of which come in the 11-minute opus "Lost My Way". And count their cover of Kiss's "I Want You" as a guilty pleasure for both listener and band alike. It's decent enough, but it doesn't really capture the sonic grit that the original had.

Besides having more than adequate musical skills, Cans's vocals are crystal clear, and the listener could easily be fooled into thinking they were listening to an American group. But most of all, what is striking about Mrs. Hippie (besides the scantily-clad model on the back of the case) is that they were really just starting to warm up when they decided to part ways. Lotus is a sign that this band was beginning to realize their potential. Why they chose not to continue I don't know, and it truly is the scene's loss.

Lotus is a disc that suggests that Mrs. Hippie was a band capable of much greatness, even in their weaker moments. Regrettably, we're left to guess at what else they would have come up with. Can I get excited about a disc from a band who haven't been together for four years? For the most part, yes.

Rating: B+

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© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Metal Blade Records, and is used for informational purposes only.