Like Trail of Dead but wish they’d concentrate more on rocking out than constructing big prog epics?
Well boy, have we got an album for you!
United Fruit, despite sounding like a colonial-era banana company, are a full-on rock act who’ve crafted a blast of raucous noise on this, their debut album.
Nine tracks, half an hour, all very much straight to the point. No fucking about with extended solos and lengthy jams. Rush fans should probably look away now.
Kamikaze – not the first descriptive song title we’ll stumble across here – races out of the blocks and goes straight for the jugular with a barrage of guitars that’s as unhinged as the Japanese pilots that etched their word for ‘divine wind’ into wider consciousness.
The band – formed in Glasgow a few years back – bonded over a love of discordant indie rock like McLusky and Shellac and such influences are borne out on Fault Lines.
Songs like Liar feature gloriously downtuned guitars beloved of said bands, and comes on like Fugazi if they were just a little bit angrier.
If ‘Fugazi from Glasgow’ isn’t an enticing enough prospect, then the multi-layered spiral of Red Letter will take you back to the days when Trail of Dead were at their most feral.
And it’s not all a vulgar display of power from a band celebrating their recent addition to the T Break bill for this year. Go Away, Don’t Leave Me Alone builds into a convincing pop hook and centrepiece Three is a kind of calm, eye of the storm song, before we’re back in business and Confuse Her Now spits in your face.
It’s probably easy to dismiss United Fruit as another bunch of thrash punks; to have your mosh and be done with it. But they sound like they’re in for the long haul. Yes, in time they may develop that blunted proggy edge, but for now Fault Lines stands up rather nicely, thanks very much.
Bassist Marco Panagopoulos had this to say about the making of the album:
It’s been kind of a long process. When we did the first EP it was a case of just getting the songs that we had and laying them down in the studio over a couple of days. With this album we really wanted to spend as much time as possible getting every detail right and not compromising on anything. It took a few sessions for the base recording and then more on overdubs just to get the record sounding the way we had envisaged it. Our first drummer Marcin had told us he was going to be leaving us about half way through as well so it got slightly stressful at times, but I think that just made us more determined to make a record that we were all proud of, and we are.
As influences go, there’s almost too many to mention. We like the DIY approach of bands like Fugazi and love their music, but there’s so much more. People can read a list of influences and instantly pigeonhole you into a genre of music that might not truly reflect who you are and what you’re trying to do. We take so much from everywhere whether it be art, books, music, television. The bands that we play with and the audiences that we play to probably have more of an influence on us than anything because you really are sharing something together with like-minded people.
How does it feel to get into T Break?
T Break is a great opportunity for unsigned bands and we are very happy to be on the bill. It’s something that we’ve been working towards for a while and it feels good to have been picked. We are really looking forward to it and it’s an extra bonus that we are sharing the bill a few bands we really admire.
Can we expect more shows to be added in for the summer?
Over the summer we’ve got a few shows lined up. We’re doing the Summer Nights Festival at King Tuts in July with our old mates Bronto Skylift as well as Jackie Onassis and Carnivores who we love. That show will be a good one. There’s going to be a couple of dates around Scotland with Late Night Fiction from Hull who are sure to be massive. There will be a lot of new material getting written over the summer as well but we will be back out on the road across the UK and Europe in September.
Fault Lines is available over here and you can have a listen to Go Away, Dont Leave Me Alone below.