Fruit Bats Spelled in Bones

Those with a love for the simple, crisp and poppy songwriting found on albums from the likes of the Shins and, to a point, the Decemberists, will find much to love with the Fruit Bats. In fact, the sonic similarities to label-mates the Shins leads to an interesting point about the music bands like them and Fruit Bats excel at. While the Shins’ use in the film Garden State gained them a new sizeable fan base, it also illuminated the inherent genius that they peddle in a meagre flash, as they, musically, added to that film’s theme of finding individuality, if only for brief, shining moments. Look to the Bats’ "The Wind that Blew My Heart Away” as a perfect example, as by the time you’re become involved with the pulsing music and falsetto, it disappears, leaving just enough of a vapour to reach for the repeat button. That song, the slower "TV Waves,” and the emotional "The Earthquake of ‘73” all work in that the listener is drawn to the wisps that affect, yet are not solid enough to fully wrap one’s head around. Although a number of these magical moments appear throughout this sublime effort, Spelled in Bones does not cohesively form as it should. It’s a shame, as those quick, misty melodies go down just like candy. (Sub Pop)