US - Illinois - Full Moon 184 - 09/12/11
Sub Pop / Tuba!
Tripper is the Fruit Bats' fifth album, keeping them on the 2 year cycle between albums pace. Last album, 2009's The Ruminant Band
was for sure a pleasant listen. Since bats are nocturnal, I wonder if this album is a Day or Night Tripper.
With Tripper Eric D. Johnson continues his pop tripping, coming up with nice and caressing melodies. The songs on Tripper are (supposedly) entirely based
on a bus trip Johnson made to South Dakota a decade ago, alongside a hobo (Tony?). True storytelling from the heart of America. This time the folk-pop aspect has maybe
faded some, but the 1970s (and 1960s) pop-feel is even more present. Of references The Shins come up quite natural, so do Grand Archives and Band of Horses. And Fleet
Foxes. But, mind you, the Fruit Bats beats almost all.
Eleven tracks make Tripper a very solid album. But, even if there aren't many weak spots on it, it's hard to mention a few highlights. Well, "Tony the Tripper",
the calmer songs "So Long" and "Wild Honey", and the closing "Picture of a Bird".
Copyright © 2011 Håvard Oppøyen