Pollinator’s Fruit is Subtly Intricate

Jozi’s Pollinator recently came to town to launch their debut album, Fruit. If you missed it, not to worry, you can still hear the album. Recorded music is great like that. Evan van Zyl gave the lengthy yet diverse release a thorough listen so you know what to expect before you dig in.

 

 

It wasn’t until recently that I had the opportunity to catch Pollinator live. I wanted to review their album Fruit in a little more context, so I thought it would be a good idea to check them out. Now I must be honest – any performance that includes a band member rolling around on the floor before the first song is over will likely earn my approval. I know I’m not supposed to review their live performance, but I mention this because watching them live made me realise what makes Pollinator great: their subtle intricacies.

 

Pollinator managed something impressive: they made an album that one would call “stripped down” sound HUGE in a way that doesn’t mean their amps were turned up past 6. How did they do that? Well that’s where those subtle intricacies come into play. At first glance, these songs present themselves with a fuzzed out sound, with slight influences from other genres incorporated throughout – often lending it’s ear to psych and blues, amongst others. What separates this album from what we’re used to here though is the refinement. By no means is anything wrong with what Durbanites are bringing to the table, but this is special in a different way. Accompanied with quality production and the band’s song-writing style, Fruit reaches the levels of international counterparts.

 

A trail of vocal harmonies follows you throughout Fruit, with each member stepping up to their vocal duties. The trio uses vocals to accentuate songs on Fruit, giving us a clear indication that they’re no afterthought. Furthermore, a slur of guitar effects and ridiculously impressive drum parts are present throughout the album. On the face of it, these elements sound like they would be overbearing, but the way in which the band incorporates them into each song plays in their favour.

 

Although 17 tracks could be considered an ambitious goal, I think Fruit pulls it off by being a versatile rock record, presenting not just alternative rock, but aspects of blues, psych, funk, and so much more. Tracks like So Glad You’re Here, Expectations, Apple Pie, The Whole Nine Yards and Every Inch of My Heart repeatedly break whatever mould is set in place for what you might expect with their impeccable and unusual timing.

 

Ultimately, Fruit is a lengthy album, but with a diverse collection of songs you’ll cruise your way through it easily and bang it on repeat. Impressive and emotive performances set this record apart from the usual South African underground release, delivering an alternative rock record with a strong sense of refinement, without giving up any of the genre’s most beloved tropes.

 

Listen to Fruit here.

 

 

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