Album Review: United Fruit – Fault Lines

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Almost two years to the day since the release of United Fruit’s debut EP Mistress, Reptile Mistress! comes the time to unleash their debut album, Fault Lines. Unleash is the right word for it, as Fault Lines is a rampaging monster of a record.

Opener Kamikaze sets the tone for a thirty something minute thrill ride, all distorted guitar, snarled vocal and pounding rhythm section. Once it has been set at frenetic the pace doesn’t dip until Three, half way through. Three offers a bit of a breather, slowing things down a tad, although it is still far from gentle. From there on in the album rockets off again with Confuse Her Now, which manages to be even more ferocious than what preceded it.
The album ends with the fittingly titled Wrecking Ball, which pretty accurately sums up the destructive, take no prisoners approach of Fault Lines. Sometimes you hear a song and immediately picture yourself sweat drenched, leaping around in a packed room as the band play it live. Fault Lines has a couple of those, but none more so than Wrecking Ball.
I’m pretty sure every time United Fruit are mentioned anywhere the names And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and At the Drive-In crop up too, but they are decent reference points. Considering how much I love some of the music made by those bands being compared to them is no bad thing either. Make no mistake either, United Fruit are no second rate copyists either. The influences aren’t hidden away, but serve to add a bit of extra flavour to their sound, which is all their own.
The half hour and nine tracks of Fault Lines fly by, the album short enough to keep your attention throughout, but long enough to leave you wanting more, with an increased heart rate and sweat on your brow.
Noise and distortion is all well and good, but without bringing something else to the table it gets old fast. Thankfully then United Fruit don’t just know how effects pedals work, they know how songs work too. Amongst the carnage is a fine ear for melody, with riffs and hooks that stick in the mind
We’re always advised to include more fruit in our diets, on the strength of Fault Lines you’d be foolish not to make sure there’s a healthy chunk of United Fruit in your diet too.
Fault Lines is released on May 30th. The album is available now from HMV.
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