7inch Sunday: The Fruiting Bodies – Wilderness Pill

7inch Sunday is a segment devoted entirely to 7” vinyl and the all-encompassing experience surrounding it. Although most publications cover major releases, the vinyl single is often overlooked and given nothing more than a half-hearted nod of acknowledgement. This weekly feature is a hub for 7” reviews, exploring the B-sides and rarities of artists that may often go unnoticed.

Each Sunday I will review 7” vinyl from artists who venture this extra mile to hold their singles high above the sea of digital releases. I hope to embody the spirit of vinyl while sharing some fantastic music with you, the reader. Let’s get started.

The realm of the instrumental band is a treacherous one.

When not ensnared with the burden of proving track variance without vocal melodies, many a group become consumed in the wave of compositional fervor demanded by listeners. As if lacking a singer generates a hazardous void, fans grasp for any substitute possible. Held to this loftier standard than their sing-along counterparts, the instrumental band is left vulnerable, easily criticized and, more often than not, colored mediocre.

This is the climate that The Fruiting Bodies must be prepared to enter, and I hesitate to consider them fully ready for what lies ahead.

Less than two years ago, the five-piece outfit released their debut EP, a six-track record dedicated to Detroit, MI. Already, The Fruiting Bodies proved that they understood who they were as a band and how to craft their music to fit that form. This sonic self-actualization was found in the sprinkle of samplings on their space rock soapbox and the melodic depths they were willing to explore. They had a grip on their sound and proved it with each passing track.

Then Wilderness Pill was released, and although it has some very strong points, seems to have pushed the group a step backwards. While their EP’s groundwork was built on layered guitars and progressively building tracks, both the single’s songs avoid any such notion. I feel that this is an “idea band” that needs a certain amount of elbow room to let those ideas wander and carve out the music. Both “Wilderness Pill” and “Battle Stag” are under the 3-minute mark and feel almost as if they were rushed into fruition.

That is not to say the single doesn’t have its high points. Once “Battle Stag” rounds the first minute it takes off with an untamed fury found neither on “Wilderness Pill” nor a prior release, and both songs have a strong coherence between each other. There are great moments on the 7”, and this is not a criticism on the band itself, but more so the direction they are taking. The Fruiting Bodies pre-Wilderness Pill were a group that was ready to enter the limelight and show the world what they had to offer; however, the newest release has me questioning if they had a grip on their sound in the first place.

Check back next week for a spin of Cold Warps’ Slimer.

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