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Album Review: Eternal Return by United Fruit

Glaswegian alt rockers United Fruit release their sophomore album Eternal Return on 13th May. It acts as a big statement of intent from the band, there’s 11 prime tracks of accessible alt rock with hooks and pop sensibilities. It sounds like a band growing up, learning from their experiences and becoming more confident.

In a recent interview with SPIN vocalist Iskander Stewart said, “The songs captivate what it’s like to fall in love, to feel pain from falling in love, letting go of love, and the fear of being alive. We wanted the kind of honesty in the music that lays it on the line, heart on sleeve even if we are crushed in the process. As a result Eternal Return is the creation which encapsulates all that we’ve learned since our first album.”

The potential for Eternal Return to make United Fruit huge is obvious; it builds upon the big steps made with last year’s EP Nightmare Recovery and makes the band genuine mainstream rock contenders. The only problem being that they may have abandoned any edge they had in favour for a more accessible sound. It’d be fair to say that it isn’t until ‘Where the Sun Beats Down’ that you get a song that gets the blood racing. It’s just raucous enough to have a swagger and pomp to excite. The hook is infectious and you’ll find yourself singing along before long. ‘Golden Days’ threatens to hit the same heights but ends up sounding a safe and a little too formulated.

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‘Cog in the Wheel’ has the strength of lamenting being fed up with modern working day life, it’s relatable and enjoyable. The chorus has great strength and coupled with the simmering energy and duelling riffs that see the track out make it one of the standout moments of Eternal Return. From that high point United Fruit ramp it up with the phenomenal ‘How Long’. Not only is this the best track the band have done it’s one of the best tracks released in 2016. The swirling guitar parts complement Stewart’s strained vocal perfectly, making it a rousing and enthralling number. ‘Sorrow’ has tones of 90’s indie before the reappearance of ‘Nightmare, Recovery’ (first heard on last year’s EP of the same name).  It was the best moment on the EP, yet here amongst stronger tracks it feels a little filler. It certainly doesn’t have the exhilarating strength of ‘Nothing to Feel’.

The fact that Eternal Return open and closes with the same tracks as Nightmare Recovery is a little disappointing although they do work well. Eternal Return is a bit of a mixed bag, when it hits form it’s genuinely excellent – the filler just lets it down a bit.

AD Rating 7/10

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