Monday, January 11, 2010

2009: The Round Up

#12. Fruit Bats - The Ruminant Band
(Sub Pop, 2009)


This is a band that I had no knowledge of before this release. I can't really remember what made it stick out of the list of new releases. It could have been a review I had read somewhere or just the simple fact that it was released on Sub Pop. Sub Pop is a label I am a big fan of, both era's I might mention. Back to the band at stake. The Fruit Bats is a vehicle for songwriter and singer Eric D. Johnson who has been a hired hand for fellow Sub Pop'ers The Shins on some of their tours. You can hear some of The Shins in the band. To explain their sound I guess they could be a mash up between The Shins and Vetiver.

I do get some of the same feel of this album as I do when I listen to Vetiver, but The Fruit Bats are less laid back and have more of the 70's AOR/MOR to them. Remember, I say this with love. I know some are real sceptical to the MOR/AOR tag, but for me that only means good melodies and ear-friendly music. The Ruminant Band is without a doubt a album I would pack before a road trip to wherever, but it is perhaps tailor-made for driving down Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Just think about it, the wind wind in your hair and the Fleetwood Mac meets the Allman Brothers "Ramblin' Man"-ish duellin' guitars on "The Ruminant Band" and the following "Tegucigalpa". Nothing short of perfection.

It's fitting that this band now resides in San Francisco, though their sound may be more of the early seventies Laurel Canyon. I, for one, would love to wake up to the sound of the "Beautiful Morning Light" and look out over the sundazed fog of Los Angeles.

Other favourites on the album are "Being On Our Own" and the closer "Flamingo". Well, really the whole album is a favourite.

"The last thing I'll do before I call it quits
Is probably dream a little bit
But nothing too hard on my sweet fadin' mind
'cause everything is gonna be just fine.."



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