Wild Fruit Art Collective - Every Conversation Is A Sale - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Wild Fruit Art Collective - Every Conversation Is A Sale

by Howard Scott Rating:8 Release Date:2018-10-12
Wild Fruit Art Collective - Every Conversation Is A Sale
Wild Fruit Art Collective - Every Conversation Is A Sale

I must admit to a bit of a built-in prejudice when it comes to listening to bands based out of Liverpool. Since I am now well entrenched in my seventh decade on the planet, the name of the northern English port town reflexively brings to mind the Beatles, of course, as well as their contemporaries like Gerry and the Pacemakers and other groups who created what would become the Mersey sound. Later, bands like Echo and the Bunnymen, A Flock of Seagulls and Dead or Alive brought more fame to Liverpool’s reputation, and contemporaries like The Vryll Society have picked up the baton and kept the port town in the musical relay. What all of these bands, spread over more than 50 years, have, or had, in common is a sound that was strong melodically, usually had outstanding harmonies, and was produced to a brand-new-Cadillac level of polish.

When I first listened to the new single “Every Conversation is A Sale”  (Eggy Records) from one of Liverpool’s most recent band of music makers, Wild Fruit Art Collective, all of these old stereotypes and expectations evaporated almost instantly. This group, which calls itself “a ragtag group of musicians distributing gloom”, has a sound that is more reminiscent of late 1980’s northwest US grunge, combined with the punk-rock perfected by groups like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Speaking of the RHCPs,  “Every Conversation Is A Sale” starts with a guitar intro by Conor Jones that pays a bit of homage to the work of John Frusciante. The slow and forlorn picking sets the stage for the baritone, anguished vocals of Jamie Roberts. Roberts has been quoted as saying he never really wanted to be the lead singer of the quartet, but his work here gives the song the closest thing to a real melody that it has, and is actually much more amorous to the ears than many other vocalists making this kind of music.  One can hear a distant echo of later Jim Morrison stylings in his work, and I personally always thought Morrison was top of the heap when it came to rock vocalists.

No one will mistake the lyrics for the scribblings of Leonard Cohen, but there is a clever cynicism embedded that sets WFAC apart from other end-of-the-world wailers out there. Roberts' groans of being told to dress for the job he wants, so he decides to dress as if he were the king. Not a “yeah, yeah, yeah in sight here!

The rhythm section of Ben Cowie on bass and Jake Jones on drums thrash away in the background and anchor the vibe with a steady and strong attack.

Wild Fruit Art Collective have talked of being cursed ( random attacks of norovirus, a member’s lung collapsing twice, the wrong demo getting into the hands of the BBC, etc.) and have certainly excelled at self-deprecating comments when queried about their music. That may all be coming to an end before very long. Last year’s “Under the Hooves”, combined with the February 2018 release of “Fabric” have garnered plenty of attention for the band, and their growing reputation as a great live act also hasn’t hurt. “Every Conversation Is A Sale” should further launch the boys to greater acclaim. The talent is obviously there in all facets: musicianship, vocals, and songwriting, and with each release, a tad more professionalism seems to creep in, whether they will admit it or not.

Wild Fruit Art Collective gleefully call themselves outliers of the Liverpool music scene, and that is really hard to argue with. Perhaps, however, they are helping to create a new attitude and sound for the ancient old city. What has always been referred to as the American version of Liverpool, the City of Detroit, was known for birthing the sweetest sounds imaginable from Motown Records, but there always was a hard underbelly to the town that also released acts like the MC5, Iggy and the Stooges and Alice Cooper into the mean streets. This history of the Motor City could very well be a harbinger of things to come in Liverpool, with WHAC becoming a major player in the future.

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