Glasgow four-piece United Fruit have been steadily developing their carefully crafted noise across the basements of Scotland’s biggest city for some time now, improving their sound and their fan base as they progress. So here, on their debut full length, we find the band pushing their already established sound further. The result is a delightful if slightly limited exploration of the band’s best ideas, and a couple less so.
Opener, the frenetic and soaring ‘Kamikaze’ is an excellent example of the band at their best, never losing pace from its instantaneously infectious opening riff; leading to layered shouted-not-screamed vocals floating above a hard-as-nails rhythm section and flying guitar lines. The highlights of this record continue in a similar fashion, ‘Red Letter’ and ‘Go Away, Don’t Leave Me Now’ take on similar feelings of a punk record that takes-off into mid-air, which creates some exhilarating moments.
There are issues with this record however that keep it from being considered a classic, the tinny, compressed production at times makes it sound more limited than perhaps intended by the quartet. Though there are moments where the production enhances and indeed heightens the senses conveyed in United Fruit’s best songs; for instance ‘Three’, a more blissed out jam, creates a euphoric aural experience.
There are songs that suffer from this records’ top-heavy sound, ‘Confuse Her Now’ or ‘Dust to Light’ both pertain excellent ideas, but feel a little uninspired when placed after some of the really excellent tracks.
At its worst, ‘Fault Lines’ suffers a bloatedness rather worrying for a nine track, 30 minute record. ‘Liar’ and ‘The Alarm’ though containing worthwhile moments, still insist on clunky, long verse sections that slow down the pace of the record to a middling, nowhere situation.
However, this all said, United Fruit are still an extremely young band. At their best, they can write tunes among the best of them, and show promise higher than many others in Glasgow or indeed Britain, particularly in a genre that desperately needs a breath of fresh air. Despite niggles, there are interesting and worthy moments on every track, leading to this reviewer’s belief that this band have the potential to push themselves further. Essentially, they are a few diverse tracks and production job from really becoming a big deal.
Words: Adam Turner-Heffer