MP3 The Hippos - ROCK: Modern Rock
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15 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, POP: New Wave
ariel - vocals, guitar, electronics
james - bass, vocals
louis - backing vocals, extras
rich - horns, keyboards
danny - horns
In the late 90's your neighborhood's adolescents were probably skateboarding, ditching school and starting bands based on the music that was infiltrating and influencing the generation. Take one part Green Day, one part Weezer and throw in some classic pop influence like The Beatles to create the perfectly blended pop-punk-ska songs that would stick in your head like gum to the bottom of your shoe on a hot summer day. Watching a band like the Offspring stay on a punk label and invade every household with a TV and someone under 30 living in it empowered everyone to start a band and pull out the punk rock phone book to start knocking on indie label doors across the US.
After starting THE HIPPOS in 1997, Ariel Rechtshaid was able to parlay his troop of skateboarding friends into a solid unit of the traveling American dream, first releasing a debut CD that cost less than $6,000 to record on indies Stiff Dog and Fueled By Ramen (owned by Vinnie of Less Than Jake) and later continuing to sell it on then upstart Vagrant Records. FORGET THE WORLD sold steadily, and the band's increased touring created fan base clamored for more. In comes Interscope Records, boasting a reputable roster with acts such as No Doubt, NIN, Smash Mouth and Dr. Dre and a deal was cinched, leading to the collaboration with Mark Trombino (Jimmy Eat World, Blink-182) and the production and release of their sophomore album, HEADS ARE GONNA ROLL, which to date has sold over 60,000 copies.
Fast forward to tours with Smash Mouth, Unwritten Law, Bloodhound Gang, Goldfinger, MxPx, The Vans Warped Tour, Luscious Jackson and Millencolin. With a 40,000 person mailing list and a renewed sense of purpose, THE HIPPOS begin writing songs for their third full length album. Apparently, singer-songwriter Ariel had traded in his Green Day records for some Kinks albums and searched through his closet reclaiming his Pixies collection. Ariel built a home studio and toiled away for months, self-producing what in turn has become the final album for the band soon to be formerly known as THE HIPPOS. Catchy upbeat horn accompanied tracks step aside for post-teen-this is how life really is- pop songs. James steps in to write and sing lead vocals on a touching tune about taking life slow. More mature Chicago-style horn arrangements are reserved solely for the farewell tune "Your Time Has Come/ It's Over." The project was created to satisfy their supportive fan base and give the dedicated bunch a proper farewell, but has evolved into the most mature and radiant album of their careers, lining up 10 songs of appealing pure pop lyricism which combine the perfect mixture of musicianship and playfulness. For kicks THE HIPPOS add in 5 tracks of a more playful manner in demo format to include a free EP with the release all combined into one CD. The final, self-titled album THE HIPPOS will be released November 11 on Olympic Records (a name Ariel came up with at 4am) licensed and exclusively distributed by Fanscape Music. Fanscape Music is a subsidiary of Fanscape, the company that runs the mailing list for the band. This is their first release.
Watching Ariel over the years, it becomes evident that he remains about two steps ahead of the curve. His musical tastes are varied enough to satisfy the youth market of his peers without alienating their parents who also have enormous record collections. He has sidestepped into producing, commercial scores and video direction, easing along the creative path that will eventually led him to his next musical project. In the meantime, his fans will get to savor the songs written for THE HIPPOS and by THE HIPPOS before the band dismantled to allow it's still barely in their 20's members to continue to create music that will eventually inspire the next batch of willful and creative adolescents.
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