The Ruminant Band
The opening track of The Ruminant Band, “Primitive Man,” is anything but. Using a sophisticated waltz-like strumming progression the Fruit Bats start their fourth album with a quiet melody before launching into the album's title track. Having much of their lineage shared and intersected with indie faves The Shins there are moments on the album that seem to have soaked their influence into the fibers of the new tracks, such as “Tegucigalpa,” which is the capital city of Honduras, a country that happens to be home of many actual Fruit Bats.
“Beautiful Morning Light” slows the pace down and strips the band bare, spending several minutes reflecting on the sunrise, before “The Hobo Girl” chimes in with a song best suited to a late night bar. The chorus bleeds together, sounding like a bunch of distorted drunks loosely singing and having a good time, before giving way to unintelligible ramblings. “Being on Our Own” sounds like a corrected version of “The Hobo Girl,” using a similar piano chord progression and clean vocal recordings to deliver a cleaner, intelligible version of its predecessor, although to be fair the songs are different enough to be distinguishable from each other.
“My Unusual Friend” is the plateau moment of the album where the band seems to start losing some steam and perhaps running out of ideas. A common problem with hundreds of albums each year, the Fruit Bats shake it off like a passing train, and emerge with “Singing Joy to the World,” a heartfelt tune, that bears no resemblance to the similarly titled Christmas song.
The album gets rounded out with three songs all respectably solid in their performance and creation. The Fruit Bats have delivered an album that will help pave their way to a successful continuation of their career. While not basking in as much overall critical praise as their peers, they don’t need to be relegated to the dark hiding places of their namesake.
Fruit Bats - Spelled in Bones
Fruit Bats - Live - April 12, 2006
Fruit Bats / Sera Cahoone - Live - February 3, 2009
Fruit Bats - Live - August 26, 2009
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