It seems only fitting that the release of the new ‘Painted Fruit Split 7” w/ Smoke Eaters’ should drop at an evening of all BC alt-pop during Sled Island this weekend. With two of Victoria’s most exciting bands linking up in Calgary during separate nation-wide tours, their collaborative release party was held Thursday at Bamboo. For those of us who weren't there we will have to settle for pre-ordering this limited 300 copy release, and stuffing our ears with these three tasty tracks in the meantime.
The A side of this EP opens with the nearly six-minute Painted Fruit track ‘Judgement’, which complicates saccharine surf tropes with darker lyrical themes of misunderstanding and anxiety. The arching structure of this track brackets the high energy post-punk climax with easy listening melodies on either end. The seamlessly executed shifts in tempo and mood showcase the stylistic creativity and craftsmanship of this young band. Coming off their punchy two minute music video for their single ‘Kitchen of Love’, these new tracks show the versatility, patience, and growth of the group since their 2015 tape Fruit Salad. ‘Judgement’ is the two parts surf rock, one part art punk cocktail that we have come to know and love from Painted Fruit.
Switching gears, on the B side of this EP we have two three-minute tracks from Smoke Eaters. Striking a productive blend of garage rock and new wave influences, these two new tracks highlight a notable and exciting maturation for the charming Victoria trio. ‘Bonnie’ features an irresistible New Order-esque beat from drummer Misha, complemented by reverb drenched minimal guitar riffs and poppy bass. ‘Teacher’ is an upbeat garage pop track ending in a moody slowed down jam, sealed with tight vocals and clever lyrics. These tracks exemplify the refinement of the spunky lo-fi Smoke Eaters sound since their ‘Bonnybrook Road’ tape. With an upcoming full-length release this fall, ‘Bonnie’ and ‘Teacher’ are an exciting indication of what is to come.
This split 7” is a well-timed and well executed collaboration from two of Victoria’s finest young pop groups. With both bands ending their tours with homecoming sets at Shakefest next weekend, be sure to grab a wristband and welcome them back to Victoria.