By the time grunge burned out and A&R creeps started cruising chat rooms scouting emo kids, the Mother Hips had missed its chance and found its voice. In the mid-'90s, the Chico, California, band seemed to have a date with destiny. Though it worked with Rick Rubin and signed to American Recordings, the Hips couldn't quite reconcile its country-rock tendencies with the H.O.R.D.E. Festival hordes and largely faded from view until the excellent Kiss the Crystal Flake in 2007. 2009's Pacific Dust updates that slightly greased-up, California-guitar-rock sound, suggesting the earliest and heaviest of the Eagles work. Dust also bitches about record labels (that time-tested rock archetype) and dials in some sweet falsetto harmonies, hand claps and lazy, sunny day blues for memorable measure.
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