Fruit & Flowers | Kycker Review

Fruit & Flowers – “Drug Tax” EP Review

We’re a little late to the disco on this one. Fruit & Flowers are a four piece band from Brooklyn, New York, and this month, they’re touring in the UK. So out of curiosity, we checked them out and saw that they describe themselves as ‘art punk / surf noir’. How could this amazing genre name not have peaked our interest? So we gave their 2017 EP “Drug Tax” a listen, and we had to write a little something about it!

Drug Tax” is 7 tracks long, quite long for your average EP. It opens with “Out Of Touch”, a showcase of the band’s vocal ability. Singer Caroline has an almost 50’s film noir smoothness to her vocals, which is matched very nicely with harmonies in the chorus. Their chunky bass sound couples nicely with the sunny, twangy guitar and multi-layered vocal harmonies. The second track “Subway Surfer” is carried by a driving riff and rolling drumbeat. The chorus in this track is one for the radio, it boasts catchiness, extreme vocal quality and infectious energy. In other words, it’s a winner. (Our favourite!) 

Next up is “Dark Surf”, which brings in some eerie sounding guitars and the noir element of the band’s sound. A slightly darker track, “Dark Surf” showcases  twangy guitars along with distorted vocals and darker sounding melodies. “Down Down Down” comes next, opening with a contrast of washed out, reverb-ed vocals and gritty guitars. This track really shows the combination of surf inspired indie and authentic gravel that Fruit & Flowers have to offer. 


Fifth is “Pick Fairy”, which shows off some more of the band’s raw energy in a similar way to “Subway Surfer”, with gritty guitars and rolling drums. Second to last is the EP’s namesake “Drug Tax”, which is more of gradual build than the others, with some call and response vocals and raw guitar thrown in for good measure. The EP closes with “Turquoise”, which throws together extreme vocal reverb with odd tremolo guitar effects that are somewhat reminiscent of “Bang Bang” by Nancy Sinatra. 

Overall, this EP from Fruit & Flowers is a very interesting offering. For a band to put the words ‘surf’ and ‘noir’ in their genre description is a steep promise, but Fruit & Flowers actually deliver a sound that is exactly that. To successfully blend indie surf with eerie sounds and gritty energy is no mean feat, so bravo, Fruit & Flowers, bravo.

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