The Hippos - Heads Are Gonna Roll (Cover Artwork)

The Hippos

The Hippos: Heads Are Gonna RollHeads Are Gonna Roll (1999)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: ChrisGorman2Chris Gorman
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ah The Hippos. This is a band that combines elements from two of the most maligned bands on this site - Weezer and Reel Big Fish. Actually, I wouldn't even say Weezer so much as the Rentals. This is a group that can appeal to fans of geek-rock like Weezer, the Rentals, Ozma and Koufax, as much as .
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Ah The Hippos. This is a band that combines elements from two of the most maligned bands on this site - Weezer and Reel Big Fish. Actually, I wouldn't even say Weezer so much as the Rentals. This is a group that can appeal to fans of geek-rock like Weezer, the Rentals, Ozma and Koufax, as much as it will appeal to fans of bands like RBF.

I never liked this band much. I found their lyrics to be cliched, their sound tired, and their skills questionable. This CD didn't really change my opinon much. I still they are cliched, tired and as far as talent goes, they are certainly no better than any other 3rd wave ska-pop band, and a lot worse than some. This CD can be fun however, if you are in the right mood. Songs like "Lost It", "Pollution", "Paulina" and "The Sand" are cool pop songs, combining equal parts moog organ and ska horns. The Hippos dont really reinvent the wheel here, but they aren't really trying to.

Some of the songs do grate on my nerves more than ever. The cover of "Always Something Their to Remind Me" is just boring and pointless, nothing special at all. Other tracks like "Wasting My Life" and "Far Behind" are ok the first couple times, but ultimately, you just get really sick of them. Consequently, this disc doesn't end up in my stereo a lot anymore. Thats this band's downfall- that is, they get really old, really fast. The songs just blur after a while, a common occurance in the over-populated punk genre, but a negative aspect all the same.

I guess I can't really fully endorse this disc. It has a few good moments, and to their credit, they have an energetic live show. Still, this collection of songs comes off as ultimately a batch of run-of-the-mill ska-pop with moog slapped on top. Buy it if you like RBF, old Smash Mouth (ugh) or even the Rentals or Ozma. Just dont expect another "London Calling".


People who liked this also liked:
Less Than Jake - Hello RockviewDangers - Messy, Isn't It? [12 inch]Operation Ivy - Operation IvyKid Dynamite - Shorter, Faster, LouderThe Suicide Machines - Destruction By DefinitionAgainst All Authority - Destroy What Destroys YouPennywise - PennywiseMad Caddies - Duck and CoverCeremony - Rohnert ParkJared Grabb / Wesley Wolfe - Split [7-inch]

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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 (February 25, 2005)

who cares that it may be "poppish"? a good band that makes happy music which makes you happy. Isn't that the popint in music? Especially "wasting my life" and "always something there to remind me of you".

Anonymous (March 21, 2004)

5? FIIIVE??? No! I refuse to let anyone believe that this is an accurate review. The hippos are the sweetest pop candy to dribble out of my speakers.


CallingLondon (February 12, 2002)

woops, this is the score i meant to use...

CallingLondon (February 12, 2002)

great album. it was when i listened to it atleast. i should put it back in my player, i bet i'd get it back into rotation again.

Anonymous (January 6, 2002)

arent "real ska"???? who the fuck cares?? they play music and i like it. whats the problem? if everything was "real ska" then there wouldnt be much diversity out there! dont be a fool

Anonymous (January 6, 2002)

You know, when you think about it, it really makes sense that a cat would be obsessed with boats because cats are afraid of water, so naturally anything keeping you above the water and dry is going to appeal to a cat. So quit giving those feline boatfreaks such a hard time.

-Quinton E. Pentagrith

P.S. The Hippos aren't REAL ska, you fuckers.

Anonymous (January 1, 2002)

I thought this was one of the best ska albums ever

Anonymous (December 19, 2001)

theyre one of my favourites too.

by not talented, i mean that they are not very skilled. infact their songs are quite basic. but thats fine, this is my point. they dont need to be the best of the best or trend setters to be a good band.... they just need to play. its the same with the hippos

Anonymous (December 17, 2001)

I think talent lies in a bands ability to exploit what abilities they have to still make great music. If you can only play 3 chords, but you can use them to make the catchiest hook anyone has ever heard, and then throw some relatable lyrics over the whole thing, you are damn talented. I'm not trying to start an argument, it's just that Less Than Jake is my favorite band EVER and if you say they're "not that talented" I get a bit defensive. My bad....krowdsurf

Anonymous (December 17, 2001)

exactly. less than jake are good, but they have no exceptionally talented players. their music is fun, so thats all that matters. same goes with the hippos

Sheena (December 17, 2001)

What?! The Hippos are Fun!

alright everyone's entitled to their own opinion, so I cant bash you for not caring for them much. *sigh* the hippos are fun times.

Anonymous (December 14, 2001)

I think you will see the Hippos ditching ska within their next couple of albums (if they dont break up first). I think with emo and whatnot so popular right now, they are gonna go in a Get Up Kids/Weezer/Rentals direction.

krowdsurf (December 14, 2001)

The first time I heard this album, it threw me. I had "Forget the World" and loved it, so I was expecting more of the same. Wrong. First off, Forget the World had bongos throughout the entire album. This album loses the bongos and brings in the Moog. Also, FTW was much more of the typical ska/pop/punk that was popular at the time while this album leans more towards an 80's/emoish sound. So is it good? I definitely think so. Their sound has changed, but the more I listened to it the more apparent it became that this was still The Hippos, just further evolved. I think this band has refined it's sound to a degree where it is actually it's "own," and not just more of what everyone else has done. Some people will be turned off by that, but I think those who liked the band before still will. The energy is definitely still there, as well as the lyrical themes and powerful horn section. I was listening to this CD earlier tonight, before I even saw it was reviewed on this site, so it certainly still stays in my rotation. I will concede that this isn't for everyone, but I'm happy that this is one band who didn't completely abandon ska when the craze died down and I think if you're a fan of the old ska/punk/pop formula then you'll be heartened to find this is one band who's finding a way to take it to a different level while still be true to the original.

Anonymous (December 13, 2001)

bah... leave them alone... theyre fine

"if it aint broken dont fix it"

words to live by, haha

Anonymous (December 13, 2001)

no man, i didn't say "the first" i said they started using it before it became the next huge trend all over again...i like a lot of 80's new wave....i love the cure and new order and the cars....it just seems like everyone and their brother use it now...it's like an emo rockers wet dream when a band features a moog now...

I love em myself, but that's because they make cool sounds...hehe...

and thanks for the compliment:)


kluchorama (December 13, 2001)

The first time I heard this band was when they had a live song on the 5 Years on the Streets comp. from Vagrant. I liked it, so I bought this album. Unfortunately, this album just isn't good.

theboywhocriedangel (December 13, 2001)

i couldn't help but notice the comment "they were the first to use to moog before it became the next big thing," concerning the hippos. they weren't exactly the first to use the instrument, as it was featured in most of the eighties new-wave puke of gary numan and his ilk... if you want to talk about the resurfacing of the moog, though, i think the rentals or even (blech) joy electric would be better candidates for that title... i do appreciate some of your reviews, though; you bring a little more much-needed variety to this site...

Anonymous (December 13, 2001)

Yeah, they definitly don't do anything new, but at least they started using the moog before it became the next big thing...these songs are fun...and they're really good live...

still, I agree...i don't listen to this disk much anymore either...


maverick (December 13, 2001)

You're just plain wrong. The Hippos rule. I don't think anyone can listen to the Hippos and not enjoy at least one song.

Anonymous (December 13, 2001)

This band is one of the few that I still want to listen to after my liking of ska wore away. also left are 5 iron(some of it, at least), and definitely LTJ. possibly mad caddies too, albeit "duck and cover". I got this CD for about 4 bucks at a used store, and it rocks. too bad i lost it, or someone stole it. people suck.

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