Add Date: August 10
Album: Modern Rituals
Comments: Simple, simple, simple. Chief is clearly steeped in the '70s rock tradition, with some cosmic country and '60s pop-rock seeping in. The instrumentation is generally pretty basic: guitars, bass, keyboard and drums, with the occasional strings highlighting the mix. Harmony vocals dominate. Even the band's name is all of five letters long--and it doesn't invoke wolves, crystals or ghosts.
But damn, does it work. There's a reason that this Santa Monica-via-NYU quartet has joined the ranks of innovators like Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective and Four Tet and British rock juggernauts Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand on Domino Recording Co. Modern Rituals may not break ground like, say, Bitte Orca, but it's still an astonishing debut that will appeal to fans of The Morning Benders, Grizzly Bear and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.
The album is great from start to finish, but in particular try "The Minute I Saw It," "Breaking Walls," "Night & Day" and "Stealing."