The Hippos - Heads Are Gonna Roll (Cover Artwork)

The Hippos

Heads Are Gonna Roll (1999)


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".