Modern Rituals

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Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Zig-zagging cross-country has afforded the band a subtle grasp: while West Coast sunshine glows from their every chord, they are not bound to Pacific pop principles, and their dexterous handling renders Modern Rituals a beguiling proposition and Chief a band to keep a very close eye on.
  2. Like their forebears, these LA beardies get the plaudits for taking raw, honest emotions and richly infusing them into every moment of their music.
  3. With the power of their harmony and a few well-arranged standout tracks, Chief have managed to assemble a respectable record, and escape being written off as yet another batch of copycat folkies.
  4. Chief could learn something from fellow California nostalgics Best Coast: Atmosphere is great, but so are sprightliness and hooks.
  5. The transcontinental breadth of the band's influences keeps Chief from coming across as pallid piggybackers of any one scene, but for a group that hasn't yet demonstrated an ability to nail down a particular sound, keeping so many balls in the air could be stretching its talents too thin.
  6. Musically, the song structures are as bog-standard as Britpop, the lyrics constantly teeter on the edge of nonsense, while the lack of any real change in style save for rotating the guy on vocals means the tracks continue to merge into one another even after a few listens.
  7. The band's full-length debut, however, still turns up drier than Laurel Canyon. Like most of Modern Rituals, "Nothing's Wrong" because it was assembled piecemeal in Pro Tools, stiff and lifeless.

See all 14 Critic Reviews