Ladies and gentlemen, may I welcome you to Fruit Island? Go on land while soft and clean guitars are playing in the background. As you can see, this island is filled with many different fruits – mostly tropical, but also some pears and berries. Some of you might enjoy a “Nap”, with its catchy guitar licks and groovy undertone. There are many rhythmical details on this short “Nap”, which definitely invites one to daydream about the many highlights on this island.
Our journey begins
Can you hear these well-played drums, with all of their accentuations and rhythmic diversity? The sun is shining, it’s warm, and there’s a “Starfish” lying on the beach. It is enjoying the sun, along with the uplifting beats of the music which keeps playing in the background. A short track full of positive energy and remarkable guitar riffs.
But next, let’s go and try that “Special Berry”. It’s up to your imagination what this special berry is. Maybe it’s the strawberry on the album’s cover, but maybe it’s raspberry or blueberry. Berries can have many different names, but did you know that technically bananas, melons, and oranges are berries, too?
It’s “May” on Fruit Island, which is the best time to visit this place. Because of the special climate, there will be some warm rain showers (in the shape of guitar notes) during the day, which soon start dripping on the sea and on your skin. After some light rain, you can spot a little “Rainbow” over the horizon. The “Rainbow” shows a colorful spectrum with triplets intertwined in the drumming and guitar playing, while the overall 4/4 time signature gives it a captivating vibe. It’s time to relax and to enjoy the visual beauty of nature.
“Mango” is one of my personal favorite fruits. Not only because of its sweetness, but also the consistency of its pulp. In general, tropical fruits are great, and so do they sound on Fruit Island. When it comes to “Mango”, it’s basically an interlude of solo guitar playing. There’s a lot of bittersweet melancholy within the guitar melodies, which is why I think ”Grapefruit” could’ve been a fitting title as well. But the way that Marcos Mena plays his guitar keeps one entertained and doesn’t make “Mango” a filler track at all.
Now let’s take a seat and enjoy “Horchata” – which is a Mexican drink based on mashed nuts and fruit. This beverage fills us up with an energetic pace after the short moment of peace and melancholy. This passage of Fruit Island has one of the best licks that standards show on this record. Additionally, the driving feel really benefits the wild and incredibly melodic riffs that Mena plays. But what’s that sweet and sour fruit in there? It almost tastes like “Kiwi”!
Said “Kiwi” comes in a 7/8 time sig and a very punkish vibe before the usual math rockery goes on. The track’s time signature really makes “Kiwi” a little bit quirky. Basically, it’s not danceable at all, but somehow incredibly moving due to its musical taste.
If you ever wonder whether this positive attitude “Changes” on Fruit Island; no it doesn’t, really. standards play a very optimistic-sounding vision of music, while proving that two instruments are definitely enough to form a band and deliver captivating tunes.
Let’s walk to “Val Verde”
This green valley has a very calm aura, and you can easily hear that there’s much room within the instrumentals, due to the fact that the valley is very big. The instrumentals are echoing within “Val Verde”, while it’s almost time to say goodbye.
“What You Aren’t”, is an actual visitor of Fruit Island. This trip costs you nothing more than the price you want to pay for listening to it, plus 36 minutes of your lifetime. It’s a journey which allows you to step out of your surroundings for a short period and enjoy a fruity smoothie of some of the best math rock outputs you might listen to this year.
I hope you enjoyed this little imaginary trip to standards’ Fruit Island, with all its facets and fruity elements. Compared to other solo guitarists, Marcos Mena keeps his fresh attitude and creates an album that sounds somehow unique, even if he clearly doesn’t do anything new. Fans of bands like TTNG, Polyphia, and Covet will absolutely adore this album.
The overall imagery of Fruit Island is incredibly cute and looks as fresh as the music sounds. standards have put out a math rock album full of joy, positive vibes, and uplifting energy that will make you want to visit Fruit Island for way longer than only 36 minutes. Take some fruit, spin this album, and get some summer feelings before it’s completely gone!