Modern Rituals

On their debut, this shaggy quartet conjure classic West Coast folk rock like they were baptized by David Crosby and reared by the members of Love. The guitars on Modern Rituals are mostly electric, but the sound is slow-rolling and slightly surreal. Chief pile up lush, profoundly stoned harmonies on songs like 'Night & Day,' a minor-key lament where Evan Koga tells a lover (or the ghost of one) that 'I just can't see your face, every night and day.' Modern Rituals is pretty stuff, but tunes like the soft-rock daydream 'This Land' float by somewhat shapelessly, and Chief could learn something from fellow California nostalgics Best Coast: Atmosphere is great, but so are sprightliness and hooks.

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