The Grates

By • Nov 1st, 2009 • Category: Band Bios

the-gratesIt’s not easy being aggressive yet approachable, tough yet whimsical, fun yet no-frills. It’s something that frontwomen Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Shingai Shoniwa of The Noisettes do masterfully, and The Grates’ Patience Hodgson hits all the same notes. As the voice of the Australian threesome, Hodgson’s frantic howl pops up as often as her frail whisper, a hearty scream as frequent as a delicate harmony. It’s why the band’s sophomore LP, Teeth Lost, Hearts Won, is so appropriately titled. It’s a raucous album with all the romance of a post-brawl embrace. Yet with its combined twinkling pianos and buzzsaw guitars, it’s still not clear whether Hodgson & Co. took part in the fight or are around to nurse the wounded. But with lyrics such as “Bleeding on the backseat / I couldn’t care less / Bleeding on the backseat / You know I’m never gonna turn you away,” it might just be both.

Chicago Innerview, November 2009

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