They’ve an awful name, but this Glasgow band kicks up an impressive racket.
Mike Diver 2011-06-07
Guys, why? You’re forming a new rock band, you need a name that really conveys the ferocity of your music, and… you plump for United Fruit? The report card reads Could Try Harder before this debut album has even reached the stereo.
Overcome the frankly awful moniker, though, and there’s much to like about this Glasgow-formed four-piece and the racket they effortlessly create. Fault Lines plays out, at times, like an album that …Trail of Dead never got around to making, a lost set of recordings from the period between Madonna and the Texan outfit’s near-decade-old masterpiece, Source Tags & Codes. The Scots aren’t afraid to wear such a bold influence on their collective sleeve, and during the frenetic Go Away Don’t Leave Me Alone there’s real magic and menace in the air – it might have been heard before, but they nail it nonetheless. Of similar impact is Dust to Light, while Red Letter is a ringer for Nottingham rockers Six By Seven at their furious best.
Three manages to mix British Sea Power otherworldliness with driving melodic hooks that’d stir any mosh into action. It’s followed by perhaps the most bombastic offering here, Confuse Her Now, where guitars rise up to such heights that the words of Iskandar Stewart and Stuart Galbraith are almost lost beneath the turbulence. Lyrically it’s nothing to write home about – but however trite this content can seem on paper, on record it’s delivered with a commendable passion.
Rough of production, Fault Lines would benefit from a little tidying up – the songs are mostly strong, but in this form they’re lacking the necessary gloss to help them appeal to radio in the manner of countrymen such as Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic. It wouldn’t take too much to remix a couple of these efforts into playlist-bothering shape. And that’s something that United Fruit should look into – for all their on-paper nods to the leftfield likes of Daughters and Shellac, they’re writing mainstream-pleasing songs which, with the right post-production touches, could really reach bigger audiences. There are weak moments, but a good six of these nine tracks are of a standard comparable with any great rock debut of late.
But that name? Sorry, but it is terrible, and potentially handicapping given the amount of promos that stack up on the average music journo’s desk.