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Modern Rituals
CHIEF Modern Rituals
Released 27 August 2010
Producer Emery Dobyns
Label Domino
Length 43:39
Genre Folk rock
Website www.chieftheband.com
75

Modern Rituals is an album that really shouldn’t be liked. It shouldn’t be good. It’s far too obvious. It’s Coldplay’s first album and it’s Supergrass past their sell by date. It’s Richard Ashcroft on vocals and it’s a Kings of Leon b-side album. It’s just been plain done before.

If you left it there, after one listen, you would go away thinking all of this. But then the final track loops back into the first track and you listen again. Hang on, there’s something there. That riff was catchy. Those lyrics aren’t pretentious and preachy. Let’s give it another go... Like it or not, this album is a grower. It turns out that the melodies are ridiculously addictive. The throw back to the late '90s, early '00s is actually a breath of fresh air amongst the over use of synthesizers and samples in the modern era. This is a real album.

Look, there’s nothing modern about Modern Rituals. It really should be titled ‘Rituals from 9 to 11 years ago’, but that doesn’t matter. It’s not the point. After a couple of years on the shelf, the guitar is probably on its way back, while the Microkorgs take a breather. Like all decades, sounds come and go. Some stick and some slip away. Some sounds will be shelved for a few years and then be rehashed in ten years with a new beat. This certainly won’t. It’s nothing new. Modern Rituals is an album that certainly won’t go down as an album of the decade. The sound is transitional.

It’s not hard to see influences all over this album, besides those mentioned in the first paragraph, there’s also some contemporary. A band like Vampire Weekend could easily have produced a track like 'Wait For You'. But then it’s followed by 'This Land' which is so different that you almost wonder if CHIEF have a defining genre. A negative if you’re a groupie looking to follow an up and coming supergroup. It’s an album you should take with a pinch of salt.

Download any two tracks, maybe include 'Night & Day' so you get a taste for their range. If my car stereo didn’t loop albums, I might not have given this album credit. Lucky them.

- Ciarán Dunphy