Boomkat Product Review:
The Ruminant Band is Fruit Bats' third long-player for Sub Pop, and finds band leader Eric Johnson (now also a member of The Shins) relinquishing some control over the project to the other members of his band. Other than writing, singing and a little piano (actually, that sounds like quite a lot), Johnson just let the other four members of the band get on with the business of playing. The resultant album runs through classy folk-rock numbers like 'Primitive Man', the Wilco-esque 'Tegucigalpa' and great acoustic pieces like 'Beautiful Morning Light', which has more than a glimmer of labelmates Fleet Foxes about it. Throw in a couple of curveballs like the goodtime honky-tonk of 'The Hobo Girl' and the shuffling, Victrola-crackling parting shot 'Flamingo', and you're left with a really solid, brilliantly performed and well-penned album that portrays a band on the ascendance.