1985 – present (33 years)
There is more than one band with this name.
(1) The Hippos were a third wave ska-punk band from Southern California. Unlike other typical bands of the genre, The Hippos employed heavy use of a Moog synthesizer.
The Hippos’s first full album release was Forget the World, released in 1996. Interestingly, many of the songs on Forget The World were written when Ariel Rechstaid, the band’s primary songwriter, was only 15 years old. This album employed traditional ska-punk songwriting, including upbeat tempos and heavy brass instrumentation. Additionally, various percussion instruments were used, such as bongos and wood blocks. The next album was Heads Are Gonna Roll, released in 1999. A transitional album, a balance of horns and synthesizers is found on this album. Commercially, this album was the band’s most successful; it is the only album to be fully produced by a large record label and thus is assumedly the most circulated and heard of the three albums.
The Hippos, a self titled final release, was released in 2003 after the band’s break-up. This album completed the gradual transition from traditional ska-punk to the unique, orginal synthpop sound exhibited here. Ties to the ska-punk scene from which they began had been all but completely severed. In fact, only one track from this album uses horns at all, an essential element of ska. Much of the Hippos’s fanbase was initially reluctant at such a different sound, but for the most part, this reluctance gave way to admiration. To many fans, the Hippos’s final album was their best written and most enjoyable, despite its limited commercial success.
(2) The Hippos are a blues band from Sydney, Australia. They enjoyed modest chart success with Dark Age in 1988, from the album Hippocracy.
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