Chief

Chief explores Modern Rituals [Album Review]

by Woody on August 30, 2010

Like many of my favorite bands, Chief has the ability to create soaring 3 and 4 piece harmonies that transport you to a time a long ago. The quartet grew up in CA, but all met at NYU. Now back in Cali, the band’s debut album Modern Rituals best resembles their upbringing with a Laurel Canyon-feel as it takes you on a mellow ride with each listen.

Like another debut this year, Local Natives’ Gorilla Manor, Chief’s drawing card are the aforementioned harmonies. Unlike Local Natives, the accompanying music is not as propulsive and varied. Chief opts for tasty guitar licks with a steady backbeat (which remind me of The Strokes & The Walkmen) that rarely veer off course. Whereas Gorilla Manor is so immediately striking and appealing, Modern Rituals is better appreciated over multiple listens as it lazily sucks you in to the beauty Chief’s music. Two different approaches and two great debuts. A couple of my favorite tracks include “Stealing,” “Nothing’s Wrong” and “Irish Song.”

Modern Rituals is best consumed in its entirety while lying outside or on a long countryside drive. Let it wash over you and feel your mood take a turn for the brighter side. All in all, Modern Rituals is a fine debut by a very talented band. Chief show a tremendous amount of promise and I am sure you will be hearing plenty from them moving forward.

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Chief – Night and Day

From their EP:

Chief – Your Direction

Live Video: Chief – Night And Day (Watch, Listen and Tell Session in London)

Official Video: Chief – Night and Day

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chief the band

Fresh of announcing their signing to Domino Records, Chief announces the upcoming release of On Modern Rituals, their debut LP. The album is due out on August 17th.

And it’s about damn time. We’ve been waiting for well over a year and I highly recommend buying their EP, The Castle Is Gone. In addition to the tracks below, I’d also check out “Mighty Proud” on their MySpace page. Very tasty.

Chief – Night and Day

Previously posted:

Chief – Your Direction

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chief

Chief is coming out with a new album entitled Mighty Proud via Chess Club Records on July 6th. The slipped us an advance peek of the album with a new track called “Stealing.” Their EP, The Castle Is Gone, is one of the best surprises we’ve found all year from a chance encounter at SxSW.

Chief – Stealing

Previously posted:

Chief – Your Direction

The band also released a video for “Your Direction.” They were raiding a friends attic in NY and found old footage of their father as a child. The footage shows him going to war and other moments of nostalgia. Click here to view.

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chief

During SXSW you hear about so many bands that are “the next big thing.” Usually they don’t live up to the hype, but there is the rare occasion when someone tells you about a band that turns out to be a gem. Chief is one such example. I was introduced to Chief band member, Michael Fujikawa, when I trekked across town to see another good band called Hungry Villagers. I typed “Chief” into my phone and filed it away.

Later on I bumped into Michael again, this time at The Love Language show where Chief ended up singing harmony for a band called Dawes. My interest was piqued, but I never tracked them down for a true performance in Austin. One visit to their MySpace page after arriving home made me regret it. The NY via LA band describes themselves as the offspring of Buffalo Tom and Oasis with Neil Young as an uncle.

In spite of the Oasis reference, I am loving this band. Their melodies wash over you and sink deep down into your being.‚  The boys may have moved out of California but their sunny roots have not abandoned them in their new home. After repeated listens, I would say that if you enjoy bands like Fleet Foxes and The Moondoggies, then Chief is for you. From the first verses of the opening track “Your Direction” to the last chords of “Nice People,” I felt that I had discovered a band that is ready to explode on to the scene.

The boys have recently signed to a well known label and are set to put out their debut later this year. They’re hitting Glastonbury and have some other dates set for Europe. Let’s hope they set up a proper US tour so I can right the wrong of not seeing them in Austin.

MySpace

Chief – Your Direction

Video: Chief – Nice People

Chief – Nice People from nevernever on Vimeo.

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