The Hippos - The Hippos (Cover Artwork)

The Hippos

The Hippos: The HipposThe Hippos (2003)
Olympic / Fanscape

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Few bands have been more universally loved than the Hippos. A story I've always enjoyed relating about the band is the following: Sometime in the late nineties, I was kicking around on an old version of WarpedTour.com in their message board section. There was a forum dedicated strictly to people .
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Few bands have been more universally loved than the Hippos. A story I've always enjoyed relating about the band is the following:
Sometime in the late nineties, I was kicking around on an old version of WarpedTour.com in their message board section. There was a forum dedicated strictly to people suggesting bands for the tour. Each post consisted of something like "I think ____ should be on the tour" followed by a hundred posts saying "No way! ____ sucks!" or something to that effect. The only change came when someone posted "I think the Hippos should be on Warped Tour, the rock!" This post was followed by dozens of others in agreement. Not a soul on the message board had a bad thing to say about these skankers-gone-new-wavers. It truly shows the universal appeal of the Hippos. Hell, I even got my 10-year old cousin [and his whole family] into the Hippos. There is no one who doesn't love the Hippos, it's a scientific fact.

[Cue eight thousand of you leaving comments like "Fuck you! The Hippos fucking suck!"]

Moving on, it was a sad day for many of us when the Hippos finally announced their breakup in February 2002 after months of speculation. It's been even more painful since then, as a new album [recorded before the breakup] has been promised ever since. The band finally has gotten their act together and with the help of Fanscape Music, released their third and last album, simply self-titled.

But enough history lessons - is the record any good?

Well first off, if you were more of a fan of the ska side of the Hippos than the keyboard side, don't even bother with this disc. Out of the ten tracks present, only one, "Your Time Has Come," contains a horn line - and the song isn't even ska, it's more of a bouncy rock number. Ariel also swears in it, which is something rather unusual [but it still works somehow].

However, if you enjoyed the evolution the Hippos were taking with Heads Are Gonna Roll, this album will be right up your alley. Virtually every track is just straight ahead pop-rock smothered in so-cheesy-it's-cool MOOG riffs. Some tracks, like "Bad Grammar," almost cry out for a horn line - they work on their own, but I could kill for a cool trumpet/trombone duet to go over the finale.

"We're Here" is a hyperactive opener and reminisicent of the band's live show - happy and sugary, without a sign of boredom in sight. The band's Weezer-influence crops up all over the disc, but some other less-expected bands seem to rub off on the group, too. For one, a definite Pixies guitar sound is evident in a number of the tracks. The most shocking influence is in "Going Home" - the first time I heard it, I honestly thought it was an Elliott Smith track. It's very melancholy and subued, with interesting instrumentation, and easily the most beautiful song the band ever wrote.

The first pressing of the disc includes five bonus tracks, ranging from the band's tribute to the land down under in "Australia" to the hair [metal] raising guitar lines of "Los Angeles." For someone new to the band, it's hard to recommend this album over either of the other two, simply because this isn't an album - it's simply a bunch of songs the band had left over that got thrown together for one last gift to fans. If you are one of those fans, this record provides a good sense of closure to the all-too-short legacy of the Hippos; one can only hope they'll wise up and at least play an official last show as this record is stirring up some new interest in them [or even a final tour]. It's all I ask, really. Until that happens, I'll always remember the Hippos as the one band everyone could agree on - a rarity in punk rock.

We're Here
Hold On
Bad Grammar
Beats Don't Stop


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (September 1, 2005)

The Hippos are as creative, talented "pop-punk whatever" song writers as there is. I loved your review and pretty much agree with all of it. The only thing I would change is that I think fans of the new blah, trying to redo old melody pop punk that's been coming out now and many others would love this cd. "We're Here" is so damn catchy it's like ridiculous it's not a hit, and this would be a good, if not very good selling cd if it were on even Fueled by Ramen Records and marketed a little. And as a musician, this cd makes me so happy because it was self produced, which means it's ALL just the bands thoughts and creativity. I'm not just saying it for cliche', but it really does rip out my heart to here not just what's on the radio, but bands that are getting signed and hiped up (Houston Calls for example-Yeah they are an ok new punk band, but they use blatantly used riffs and melodies and their songs all sound the same...yet they are like one of the best new things out there to young punk-ets.)The main point is, this album is simply The Hippos--being poppy yes but also so creative (it's the little things! (F/X)) but also putting out a professional sounding, each song can be different, great cd. Hell, I'm even really late on finding out about this cd...I had been wondering what had happened to them, and now I honestly can't even understand why in two years, Capitol, Epitaph, SOMEBOBY hasn't re-released this to make some money and give The Hippos justice. It's a shame they broke up but I wish I knew more about the whole situation.....Are they in new bands? The booklet that came with the self titled cd doesn't even talk about it...and they are like a ghost band on the internet. Ariel's voice is so unique I really hope he creates more music somewhere soon....shit I could use him for some vocals.

If someone knows the answer to any of that, I'd appreciate the info.

Paulina You Know This Isnt Me,

Derek Woods

Anonymous (August 18, 2004)

the hippos are the kinkiest band ive ever heard... and thats why i love em.

FashioningKnives (December 30, 2003)

Fuck this cd is soo cheesy it hurts...

Thats why I love it

Anonymous (December 19, 2003)

It was a huge diappointment to me. No real ska on the cd at all. I think I may be able to finally say that ska is dead. Most of the classic ska bands like RBF or LTJ have grown out of it.

Anonymous (December 18, 2003)

even if you don't like the cd, it's nice that they finally decided to put the record out. i think it rocks.

Anonymous (December 2, 2003)

what is all this about the board game?? did the hippos make a board game? what is it called? they didnt make mouse trap did they? i used to love that game. i also used to love the hippos. i did a report on hippos in 6th grade. noth THE hippos, as in the band, but real live hippos. i do like the band though. or i DID. i think they did an awesome cover of ... i dunno, something. i cant remember the title now. its an older song. but it sure is good!

rockerhud (December 2, 2003)

THE BEST album around. It's my pick of the season. ALL MY FRIENDS will be getting this album for x-mas.

Anonymous (December 2, 2003)

Superdude was also the classroom Hamster on the Simpsons.


Jesse (December 1, 2003)

You know, my brother used to have a hamster mutant for the TMNT Role-Playing game named Superdude.

funkisdead (November 30, 2003)

if somebody needs avenging, you know who to call.

FortyMinutesWest (November 30, 2003)

"where is he? is he ok?"

I'm guessing he just went home for Thanksgiving and hasn't had access to the internet. Either that or Tate and his Brand New impala finally caught up to him.

krowdsurf (November 30, 2003)

I love The Hippos first two albums and have seen them live many a time. That said, this album is not to my tastes at all. I really don't understand the logic of putting out a last album "for the fans" when it is completely different from what the fans are used to.

funkisdead (November 30, 2003)

"No Scott=No Reviews"

where is he? is he ok?

Anonymous (November 30, 2003)

Thanks for writing a review on The Hippos. They used to be my favorite band, but since the breakup that changed. The review was so correct. Everyone likes them. I love them. So long hippos!!!

notfeelingcreative (November 30, 2003)

Uhh, the hippos did shut it down, they are no longer.

Anonymous (November 30, 2003)

Is it possible that this fuckin queer reviewer could like boys anymore than he already does??? I mean, what a flamer! I bet he even LIKES penises!

FortyMinutesWest (November 28, 2003)

No Scott=No Reviews

Anonymous (November 28, 2003)

No reviews today! Plus the Hippos need to shut it down they were good, mediocore, and now just plain terrible.

FortyMinutesWest (November 28, 2003)

Almost every band reviewed in this last update has "the" in their name, weird.

Anonymous (November 28, 2003)

whoah, whoah, whoah
U2 is under the hippos? lets not say things we can't take back
Your list seems slightly skewed to include U2 but leave out so many other bands better than TBS.

Anonymous (November 27, 2003)

wack. i can't stand the hippos. oh well.

Anonymous (November 27, 2003)

Thanks for reviewing the Hippos. They are number 1 band.
Top 5 bands ever:
2)Less Than Jake
3)Taking Back Sunday
5)Blink 182

Enough said

boba_fett (November 27, 2003)

superdude is from canada?!?!?!? i must know him!

chess is cool as is monopoly. and theres also that grinch stole christmas version of monopoly, except that version isnt cool.

Anonymous (November 27, 2003)


NoUse (November 27, 2003)

This disc is available in stores

jwinter (November 27, 2003)

dude, just leave superdude alone... he's from canada...

Anonymous (November 27, 2003)

Black cars look better in the shade...

ally (November 27, 2003)

oh how we love the hippos. they should do a reunion tour.

Anonymous (November 26, 2003)

...you can ask a stanger, my board is fast and danger..."

IlikeSka (November 26, 2003)

i heart the hippos and always will. maybe ex-hippos should join some of the ex Reel big fish members and start a super group

losingstreakca (November 26, 2003)

can you only get this cd online? or can you get it in stores

Anonymous (November 26, 2003)

"1. Talk more about Porsches, everyone loves fast."

yes they do, and then they leave.

CallingLondon (November 26, 2003)

hey is for horses.

irish_joo (November 26, 2003)

hey! would you eat the moon if it was made of ribs?

Anonymous (November 26, 2003)

Fuck you man the hippos suck

Anonymous (November 26, 2003)

to superdude,

interesting comments, but heres how i could make them better:

1. but does it have the bus from speed?

2. why is there no mention of my mom?

3. do you like my mom?

4. what are your favorite ice cream flavors, and how?

5. does randomness get annoying, or do you feel insulted?

6. i hope so.

7. ...douche...

Anonymous (November 26, 2003)

the original hippos - the sydney pub band from the 80's, are a lot better.

Anonymous (November 26, 2003)

"If you were a hot dog, and you were REALLY hungry, would you eat yourself?"

man, will ferell's impression of harry carey is always fuckin funny.

(hey norm!)

notfeelingcreative (November 25, 2003)

If you were a hot dog, and you were REALLY hungry, would you eat yourself?

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

mouse trap was a great board game. except i played it in real life. trying to catch mice in a plastic cup and into the incinerator.


(my friend once sprayed "PAM" on one...the results weren't good)

rxbandito24 (November 25, 2003)

I like hippos and reunion show FUCK YOU ALL

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

i haven't heard this whole cd, but it's hard to believe that it could possibly be better than their previous stuff.

Every track on Heads Are Gonna Roll was perfect sugary sunshine pop.
Every track on Forget The World was great skankin' pop rock.

Two great albums.

You will be missed greatly Hippos, at least in this corner of Pennsylvania.


superdude (November 25, 2003)

This review was good, but here's how I would make it better:

1. Talk more about Porsches, everyone loves fast.

2. I believe in rock and roll, but most of all, I believe in ghosts

3. Does this cd come with any cool holograms of dancing people?

4. I'd love that!

5. Or a map of Iowa?

left_on_red (November 25, 2003)

Fuck the fucking hippos they suck ass. ACtually they are really good i just wanted to be funny but im pretty sure i failed.

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

Wick Wick WACK!!!

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

"that boardgame was good but this is how i'd make it better:"

Witty witty wry wry

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

Good collection of songs. I can see why they broke up though. They were heading in a completely different direction with these songs. They are still good...just different. If you are a Hippos fan, then it is worth picking up. If you are not a Hippos fan, go buy Forget the World, and you will be.

ALineInYourBook (November 25, 2003)

"There are a couple of good songs but all in all it sounds like a bunch of demo's thrown together"

Did you even bother to READ the review moron?
"it's hard to recommend this album over either of the other two, simply because this isn't an album - it's simply a bunch of songs the band had left over that got thrown together for one last gift to fans"
Of course the other Hippos albums were better, they were planned. This one's just for the fans. So, if you're not a fan, go find something else to whine about.

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

Fuck you! The Hippos fucking suck!

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

I used to really dig the hippos. Whether it was the "SKA side" or the more weezer influence stuff. However, this album BLOWS. There is like one or two DECENT tracks but other than that the rest is shit. Very disappointing....probably the reason they broke up.

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

I am about as big of a fan of the hippos as you can find and I don't enjoy this album at all. "Heads are gonna roll" was nearly flawless from beginning to end. Each song flowed together from the first to the last. This one is all over the place musically. You can tell they never finished this album, just as you can hear the power struggles within the group as they fight over a direction musically. There are a couple of good songs but all in all it sounds like a bunch of demo's thrown together. Don't expect this to be a follow up to their last album. Expect this to be more of a b-sides and rarities type release and maybe you won't be disappointed.

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

"... i miss the smell of Taco bell..."

CallingLondon (November 25, 2003)

you know what? fuck you all. fuck you all in your stupid asses!
(half joking)

Jon_the_Skafather (November 25, 2003)

i'd say i'll miss this band...but this last album makes me glad they broke up before they went completely to shit...at least in "side-project" form there's an excuse for them to not sound nearly as good as their first two albums. this album is nothing more than proof that they're capricious underground trendsters who happened to get lucky in a band on a trend that they'd get bored with.

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

I heard this band before, arent they called the reunion show now?



Fuck the reunion show.

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

ska side of this band rocked.

and i heard Rich who was in the band at one time or always was in the band was a jerk. he went out with a friend of mine at one point, and from what i heard he was a hammer.

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

Shark Attack was a sweet board game! The shark's jaws actually moved forward!

This score is for the new Hippos.

Old Hippos are about a 7-8.

CallingLondon (November 25, 2003)

::sniff sniff::

i'll miss the hippos. ah, the memories of high school riding around in my car blasting these guys. no one else in my town was aware of their greatness besides my friends who i showed them to. oh well, they will be sorely missed by their fans. all i need is a walking cane.

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

that boardgame was good but this is how i'd make it better:

1. Digitalize it
2. Make an online-playing option
3. Sell it.
4. Cash Out.
5. Buy 500.000 copies of the aquabats dvd.
6. Watch the aquabats get a gold-dvd.
7. Sue the Aquabats
8. Shoplift a tractor
9. Bring Back the Jimmies
10. Make me a fucking pie.

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

I never got much into this band, but the board game rocked my socks.


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