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Gravity Won't Get You High

The Grates

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Album Review

Teetering somewhere between brash garage rock and sunny indie pop, the Grates' full-length debut Gravity Won't Get You High builds on the sound they introduced on Ouch. The Touch EP. Much like Be Your Own Pet, the Grates have absorbed all the bright, loud, immediate moments from the White Stripes and (especially) Yeah Yeah Yeahs, adding their own lighthearted, almost cartoonish twist: "Seek Me," "19 20 20," and the cheeky-sexy "Trampoline" sound like Karen O could've sung them in grade school. A lot of Gravity Won't Get You High's songs feel like foul-mouthed, sing-songy nursery rhymes, and when the Grates are at their best, their mischief is addictive. When Patience Hodgson sings "I'm gonna go like this to you/Lalala!" on "Lies are Much More Fun," you can practically see her waggling her tongue and making funny faces, while "Rock Boys" and "Science Is Golden" boast guitars that sound like blazing beams of sunlight. However, as fun as Gravity Won't Get You High can be, it has enough repetitive tracks and clunkers (including the, well, grating opening track "I Won't Survive" and the cryptic closing ballad "I Am Siam," neither of which plays to the band's strengths) to make the album more of a promising debut than one that actually delivers.

Biography

Formed: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Karaoke — an unhinged rendition of the Disney chestnut "A Whole New World," to be specific — brought Australians Patience Hodgson, John Patterson, and Alana Skyring together as musicians, but that sap-soaked turn at the mike didn't exactly foreshadow the classic punk racket on which the trio would build its reputation. Friends since childhood in Brisbane, Hodgson, Patterson, and Skyring honed their lo-fi, hyper-spazzy sound in Patterson's garden shed in the early 2000s with the help of...
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Gravity Won't Get You High, The Grates
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