Gravity Won't Get You High, the Grates' debut, just might get your rocks off in church. Throughout, the Aussie trio channels messy punk rhythms and sunshiny harmonies for their own sort of revivalist garage rock debauchery. And where the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O delivers her shtick in a convincing growl and purr, Grates vocalist Patience Hodgson's version is hot-blooded and playful without losing its girlish bite. Producer Brian Deck (Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse) lets the dancetastic atmosphere of Gravity take shape without too much tinkering, and gives the Grates plenty of space to preach about having a bloody good time. Horns and guitars gang up for a riot on "19 20 20," while "Science is Golden" is straight-up cheeky pop and the Ritalin-addled do-si-do of "Inside Outside" maintains the fury of the trio's happily un-ironic rock 'n' roll party. The girls (and guy) just want to have fun. Even drippier love songs like "Feel Like Pain" or "Lies Are Much More Fun" still manage to rock out. The Grates definitely add a little oddity and excitement to the latest wave of Aussie rock (Wolfmother, etc.), but the self-appointed indie rock taste police should be able to get with the trio's rattle too.
MacKenzie Wilson writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].