Sometimes all you need to hear is a little bit of a band to know that it’s not something that’s easily sorted. That is apparent almost as soon as you start playing Wild as the Night, the new album from Fruition.
“Forget about You” features a guitar riff by Jay Cobb Anderson that has enough fuzz (although not enough volume) to fit in a garage-rock song. Meanwhile, Kellen Asebroek plays a piano part that brings The Band to mind and Mimi Naja manages to make her mandolin sound like a pizzicato violin. While all this is going on Anderson’s vocals sound a bit like young Bob Dylan with some good harmony vocals behind him. By the end of the song, you don’t know how to classify it other than a fine piece of songwriting.
Naja showcases her voice with the lead vocals on the title track, and that’s a good thing considering her voice is in a similar range to Susan Tedeschi. The melody of this one is a lot more alt-country – particularly with the pedal steel in the background.
You don’t really get any closer to a single classification for this album as you move through it. It has a very mellow vibe. The piano and the mandolin lend an Americana feel, but there is also a touch of psychedelia as in the guitar in “Sweet Hereafter.” Then you hear “Raining in the City,” which starts with a beat in the style of Charlie Watts while the guitar is reminiscent of Yardbirds and the bass line by Jeff Leonard is just downright groovy.
At times the melodies on this album sound as carefully crafted as a song by The Wood Brothers. At the same time, you can’t help but notice the attention to the lyrics. For example, “Manzanita Moonlight” includes the poetic lyrics “I’d give away the sweetest day for one more dance tonight with the manzanita moonlight in your eyes.”
So maybe this album isn’t easy to classify. But you know something that’s OK. No matter where you want to file this, it is enough to say that this is a wonderfully melodic example of the art of songwriting. The only problem is that this album contains just seven songs, which leaves you wanting more. Wild as the Night will be available everywhere on November 8. Order your copy here.