Fruit Bats

Fruit Bats

Promised Land Sound

Thu, May 12, 2016

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Rough Trade NYC

Brooklyn, NY

$15 advance / $17 day of show

Sold Out

This event is 21 and over

Fruit Bats
Fruit Bats
Fruit Bats started in the mid 1990’s as the four-track project of Eric D. Johnson. The name “Fruit Bats” was actually one of many cryptic monikers scrawled on the cassettes. Somehow that one stuck. Some of the other band names included “Holiday Inn,” and “Senseless Tripe.” For a number of years there were many warbling, feedback laden tapes, but no shows and no band.

In early 2000, Johnson joined the cast of characters that made up Califone and the whole Perishable Records family. It was this kinship with a bunch of like minded folks that coaxed the Fruit Bats from out of the bedroom and turned the shy lo-fi project into a real band.

Brian Deck produced the first record, Echolocation, which featured hi-fi versions of many of the old four-track tunes. The album sold poorly, but garnered rave reviews in places like Mojo and The Village Voice, the latter calling it “a mini-masterpiece of zoology rock.” Shows were offered, and a band was hastily put together. The lineup would remain ever shifting after that, always revolving around Johnson and a rotating cast of characters.

Fruit Bats would sign with Sub Pop records in 2002 and release 4 successful records with the venerable Seattle imprint. They then toured the world, played on the TV and had a generally great time. Besides the aforementioned “zoology rock,” the two best obscure genres the Fruit Bats have been linked to by the press are “bootgazer,” and “rustic pop.” So there you go.

They'll be touring with My Morning Jacket in fall 2015, and will release their sixth full-length in early 2016.
Promised Land Sound
Promised Land Sound
Promised Land Sound, Nashville’s finest purveyors of febrile root-work psychedelia, chose to begin at the beginning; they named themselves after an immortal road-dogging Chuck Berry jam and proceeded from there. For such a young band—though they’re now all in their twenties, some weren’t even of legal drinking age when they released their debut—they’re remarkably attuned to historical precedents. The self-titled first album mined the same red dirt/swamp boogie as the Flying Burritos, Gene Clark, Jesse Ed Davis, Link Wray, the Band, CCR, Dennis Linde, Johnny Darrell, the Stones, et al. But For Use and Delight is the album on which Promised Land Sound finds their distinctive idiom, the distilled articulation of their mutable live performances, during which songs expand and contract, guitars flicker, flame, and gutter, and the rhythm section achieves a full-throttle locomotive choogle that locates the common/contested ground between J.J. Cale and Can.

Promised Land Sound emerged from the fertile Nashville garage scene—members have played with PUJOL, Denney and the Jets, and members of JEFF The Brotherhood and Those Darlins, among others—but they have quickly evolved to deploy a more varied country, soul, pop, and psych palette than most of their brethren and sistren. Bassist and singer Joey Scala and his younger brother Evan (drums and vocals) originally hail from Roanoke, Virginia but moved to Tennessee in 2000. Joey spent some time hitchhiking around after high school, eventually meeting Nashville lifer and guitar prodigy Sean Thompson and playing in a succession of local bands together before beginning to write in earnest as a team. In short order, they managed to attract the admiration of esteemed folks like fellow Nashvillain Jack White, who released a live 7” of theirs on his Third Man Records. The current lineup also prominently features invaluable Nashville stalwarts Peter Stringer-Hye (The Paperhead) on additional vocals and rhythm guitar and polymath Mitch Jones (Fly Golden Eagle) on keyboards, as well as handling co-production and string arrangements on the record.

In 2013 Paradise of Bachelors released Promised Land Sound’s first full-length album, co-produced by Jem Cohen (the Ettes and the Parting Gifts), Andrija Tokic (known for his work with Alabama Shakes), and Nashville guitar wizard (and Hiss Golden Messenger band member) William Tyler, who also guests on the record. In 2014 and 2015, the band toured with Angel Olsen, Alabama Shakes, and Natalie Prass, among others.

If the first album resembled, as Uncut enthusiastically described it, “what the Byrds might have sounded had Gram Parsons joined the band a year or two earlier,” then For Use and Delight suggests a heavier, darker potential meeting of Jim Ford and S.F. Sorrow-era Pretty Things (without all the conceptual baggage, but retaining the razor-wire guitars and unabashed ambition.) But that’s all fantasy rock and roll gaming, and lest you think Promised Land Sound is a band that aspires to sound like the sum of their record collections, think again: the fact is that there just aren’t many other bands writing and inhabiting rock and roll songs of this scale and structural and performative sophistication. The Chiltonisms and chiaroscuro of “She Takes Me There” recall Big Star, but not so much in sound as in sentiment—the melancholy dislocation of a Southern band in a Southern city, but existing strangely out of time and pushing beyond geography. Listen to the bittersweet swagger of “Otherwordly Pleasures” or “Oppression”: despite the classic psych and pop influences, Promised Land Sound is in some essential sense a staunchly Southern band, unselfconscious classicists eager to anchor their songs in traditional forms while tearing at the edges of the vernacular.
Venue Information:
Rough Trade NYC
64 N 9th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249