The Grates – “Dream Team” – Across The Ocean

The Grates – “Dream Team”

Four albums in and Brisbane’s The Grates have not lost the art of sounding delightfully gritty.


On this latest effort Dream Team the trio are back in full flight, slapping us across the face with another short sharp outburst of abrasive garage punk, slipping in a couple of moments of fuzzy tenderness for good measure.

A trademark jagged guitar chug on ‘Call Me‘ gets things underway and thrusts us headlong into the album. The throbbing bass and drums build up of ‘Holiday Home‘ follows with vocalist Patience Hodgson suggestively enquiring “Do you want to spend the night in this holiday home?”.

Through back to back dirty pop nuggets ‘7-Eleven‘ and ‘Dirty Hands‘ Hodgson channels a touch of Courtney Love as guitarist John Patterson and drummer Richard Daniell pound out the accompanying racket.

It Won’t Hurt Anymore‘ and ‘I’m Staying‘ provide the band’s own take on balladry, slowing down the tempo nicely but not quite able to part way with the established bed of distortion, albeit less manically applied.

Having briefly sampled their more sensitive side we are hurled unceremoniously into ‘Friends With Scum‘, an unstable sub two minute punk explosion that whirls by in an offensive flurry.

Continuing to mess with our heads, ‘Whats Wrong With You‘ conjures up images of a heartbroken Sandra Dee pondering the foibles of Danny Zuko. Unexpected, neatly executed and over in one minute forty eight seconds, we barely have time to scratch our confused heads.

All done and dusted in around half an hour, Dream Team very much embraces the ‘less is more’ philosophy so intrinsically linked to punk rock. If anything, it’s brevity will have fans going straight back to the start after completion.

Fast, sleazy and fun, Dream Team ticks all the boxes.

Gavin Stocker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Outside of Across The Ocean Gavin Stocker writes, records and performs music under the moniker of P Truck.

He can also be found clinging to his youth on a skateboard or wandering aimlessly through the bush.
Gavin Stocker