Goodnight Ritual – Self-Titled


Review by Christine Mlodzik

I’m a bit wary of “supergroups.” Bands that, on their own, achieved success and for one reason or another, their individual members joined forces to create a new entity. In theory, the new group should be twice as good as the two bands separately, but more often than not, it lands with a dull thud. (Remember Audioslave?)

I’ll admit when reading Goodnight Ritual is comprised of former members of Minneapolis bands Casanatra, Zelpha Trippe and In the Morning, I was hesitant to listen to it, but I’m very happy to report this new band does not land with a thud – it soars.

Goodnight Ritual is Dennis Asher (vocals/electric and acoustic guitar – Casanatra), Jeremy Fink (guitar/vocals/keys – Casanatra), Lance Reed (drums/sampler – Casanatra), Jake Robeck (bass/vocals – In the Morning) and Teresa Blais (vocals/percussion – Zelpha Trippe).

Goodnight Ritual is a straight-up no-frills rock band, with kick-ass vocals that are a fine meld of whisky, cigarettes and Bob Seger.

The first track, “Anonymous Man,” introduces the listener to their sound. They’ve taken some of the essence and funk and flair of the 70s and put a brand new coat of polish on it and made it very listenable.

Usually, I have one favorite track, but this time I have three: “Anonymous Man,” “Smoke” and “Who Walked Away.”  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if any or all of these tracks find their way into rotation on local radio stations.

There was only one track that struck me odd and it was “Engine No. 9.” Really, the intro threw me – the synth-pop was out of step with the band’s overall sound.

On their Web site, it says: “Goodnight Ritual came together in spring of 2011 … our imaginations run together and bleed like crayons. The color isn’t brilliant but it’s the only one of its kind.” I’d agree – it is one of a kind and a pretty cool box of crayons, where you’re less likely to find the standard blues and reds, but more like ocean Pacifica teal and Dante’s inferno.

It goes on to say: “Give us a listen, give us a chance.” Do it – you won’t regret it.

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