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Album Review – The Grates’ “Secret Rituals”
The Grates are back with their third album Secret Rituals. Though it’s in the vault as to what these rituals are (perhaps it’s better left unsaid?), we speculate it has to do Patience Hodgson and John Patterson leaving their drummer and Oz behind, and setting up shop in New York.
The album is laden with pop-rockin’ power chords and a hint of the ’90s (the good parts – think Veruca Salt and Liz Phair). There’s a beachy, Aussie flair in the guitar, and the drums aim to please the insatiable foot tapper, thanks to newest bandmate, Brooklyn’s own Ben Marshall.
Hodgson has a Karen O. cadence and a coy delivery. The way Secret Rituals uses lyrical repetition is effective and infectious. They are also quite direct. Songs to be particularly keen on are “Change,” “With You,” and “Young Pricks,” the track that more or less crosses over into the land of punk pop.
Though “Turn Me On” was one of our recent Feel Good Fridays, it bears reposting, if not for the way Patience sings, “wrap yourself around me” – we can’t seem to shake it.
Perhaps Secret Rituals refers to such in the everyday – our inner monologue, personal superstitions and daily habits that we think will impact the universe and our fate in a positive way… or, in the case of The Grates, their album.
It dropped stateside last month.