Based on the first track "I Won't Survive" from The
Grates' first full length album Gravity Won't Get You High,
I predisposed the album as a knock off of Le Tigre with javelin-like
vocals and coppices of fun, groping, music doodles. But with each
successive track there is more to like about Brisbane, Australia's
punk rockers The Grates as they explore and pioneer trails that have
been untapped by those before them.
Their debut album, produced by Brian Deck has kinetic surges,
mercurial circulation, and music schemes that parallel Metric,
The Kills, and Be Your Own Pet. There is a refreshing
air about The Grates music that probes outside the parameters of established
punk rock circumferences and anoints their songs with intrinsic meaning.
The rhythmic moves and indie rock provisions on "Lies" undertone
the vocal steering of Patience Hodgson as she unbuttons tied
up emotions with unhindered gusts. The vocals have a freehand scroll
and punk suaveness akin to Jemina Pearl from Be Your Own Pet.
Boldly released, melodically stippled, and individually wrapped are
the recurring themes in The Grates music.
The accelerating momentum on "Howl" dispatched by drummer
Alana Skyring and the coiling strides of guitarist John
Patterson craters the song with a Yeah Yeah Yeahs' dither.
"19 20 20" latches catchy phrasings to the punk stance of
the vocals as "Trampouline" pounds with twisting moves,
undulating vocals, and edgy drumbeats. The Grates explore softer punk
rhythms on "Science Is Golden" showcasing versatility in
tempo and coloring. Their track "Feels Like Rain" shows
their skill to transition sparse segments with flustering channels
unifying the progressions seamlessly.
The singular piano intro on "Nothing Sir" segues into a
carnival-like stasis with a Dresden Dolls jamboree. The quirky
segments on "Inside Outside" have Bjork style eccentrics
but fit into the melodic sequences perfectly. The ripples and chimes
on "Sukkafish" are accessorized with banjo style phrasings
and toe tapping beats. "Seek Me" has '60s style tambourine
ringlets along dance grooves and club music motoring. "Little
People" tools a recorder interval in the punk rock mix, and "I
Am Siam" is the most charming piece on the album with a marching
band percussion rattling along with the smooth sailing vocals and
The Grates deliver an album with bundles of fun, creativity and
imagination. The sequences thread quirky pop-ups with melodic rock
phrasings but it's the saucy/melodic vocals that engage the listener
and bring them into the music.
1. I Won't Survive
3. 19 20 20
4. Rock Boys
7. Science Is Golden
8. Feels Like Rain
9. Nothing Sir
10. Inside Outside
12. Seek Me
13. Little People
I Am Siam
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