The Dark Fruits Play It Cool on Warm Weather Starter Pack
As a conceptual album, The Dark Fruits’ Warm Weather Starter Pack is a curious study in opposition. Sure, there’s cuts like “California Beach”, “Florida”, and “Ten Lakes and a Pool”. But dropping the album in the midst of autumn, when the titular weather is beginning to fade throughout the continental United States? Or, the trio huddling around in some serious parkas, hoods on, and showcasing other types of long-sleeves accoutrements for promotional photos accompanying the release?
Perhaps warm weather is a state of mind for the artists on this Long Player. “Beach” is actually one of the best efforts on this collection of cuts. It rides the time-honored “we will, we will, rock you” drum pattern, played live, and a fairly bass heavy (electric, that is) bottom that’s tightly coupled with the raging electric guitar atop it.
But it’s the vocals that stand out the most on this number—as well as on the rest of the album. The style lead singer Jeff Wolosewich kicks is easily reminiscent of that on REM’s work—particularly the sound of his voice. He seems to prioritize phrasing a bevy of words into bars more than the sheer joy of melody, which never hurts on the lyrical side of things. His voice dominates the majority of the songs, oftentimes beginning and ending them.
Granted, there are a modest amount of guitar solos on the release, and the oohs and ahhs of Tara Martin, the group’s drummer, sound delectable on tunes like “California” and “Marianna”. But Wolosewich himself oftentimes doubles and triples his own vocals, sometimes without changing the pitch of them, so that they’re front and center for the majority of the LP.
His high point is undoubtedly on “Marianna”, particularly when Martin abandons her coy, reserved drum pattern for the first verse and picks up the pace on the rest of the ditty. Wolosewich unveils a delicious melody and the trio can do no wrong.
Jordy Walker, the master of the guitars, bass, and synth for the duration of the affair, trades in the electrified stringed lead for an acoustic one on “Asymptomatic”. One would almost swear he snatches at least half a bar from Sixpence None The Richer’s “Kiss Me”. With Martin hitting high notes in the background on the hook, and that acoustic playing swimming atop the bass, the trio is definitely in good stead.