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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Music Reviews

    Fruit Bats

    The Ruminant Band

    Sub Pop

    4 out of 5 stars

    Fruit Bats, a folk-rock band originally based out of Chicago, released its latest project The Ruminant Band on Aug. 4. Now living in the heart of the modern folk world, Seattle, the quintet has grown tremendously since its humble beginnings. Lead singer Eric Johnson kicked off Fruit Bats’ recording career by producing four-track projects in the late ’90s under various quintessential indie names like “”Holiday Inn”” and “”Senseless Tripe.”” After years of failed shows and several member overhauls, the now-successful Fruit Bats recorded The Ruminant Band, which has quickly topped various music charts. Sitting in Sub Pop’s extensive collection of once-obscure-turned-mainstream bands — think The Shins, Postal Service and Iron & Wine — Fruit Bats’ newest release is sure to place the group among its popular predecessors. The Ruminant Band offers a variety of indie-pop ballads and whimsical folk-rock tunes. Songs like “”Primitive Man”” and Being On Our Own”” combine subtle but effective acoustic guitars with the ever-present tambourine. Even Eric Johnson’s voice cheerfully whines that “”everything is going to be just fine”” in the last track of the album, “”Flamingo.”” That lyric perfectly describes The Ruminant Band, which straddles the line between the Fruit Bats of the past and its inevitable future.

    Fruit Bats will be performing at Plush, 340 E. 6th St., on Aug. 27 at 11 p.m. Tickets are $12 online at or at the door.

    Portugal. The Man

    The Satanic Satanist

    Equal Vision Records

    3 ½ out of 5 stars

    In only four years, Portugal. The Man has cranked out six diverse albums. The name alone suggests variety and “”conceptuality.”” Each album, from 2006’s Waiter: You Vultures, the band’s first full-length project, to 2008’s Censored Colors, which contains experimental ballads, sets the bar for conceptual bands. The release of The Satanic Satanist, Portugal. The Man’s latest endeavor, can be regarded as its most accessible album to date. The quirky band has dabbled in everything from progressive to psychedelic rock; however, the new album clashes with Portugal. The Man of yesteryear. Although the band continues to keep its eclectic vibe, fans of a more rowdy, experimental Portugal. The Man, might be disappointed, but Satanist brings a fresh perspective. The opening track, “”People Say,”” sets the bright mood by stating that: “”All the people they say it will be OK.”” It isn’t necessarily the band’s most awe-inspiring album to date, but it sure does appeal to the pristine indie-pop crowd. Songs like “”The Sun”” are reminiscent of Censored Colors, in which John Baldwin Gourley’s  falsetto echoes throughout the track.

    Even if Portugal. The Man misses the boat on the angst-ridden tone of prior albums, it sets the bar for their versatility. While the band’s new toned down sound might seem generic, it is sure to appeal to a wider audience and perhaps grab a few long-time listeners.


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