Release Date: May 13, 2016
Record label: Easy Sound Recording Company
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Though it sounds perfectly natural in the line of succession of Fruit Bats albums, it’s the five-year hiatus proceeding Absolute Loser that makes all the difference. The album, as cohesive and strong top to bottom as anything frontman Eric D. Johnson has made, gathers its sense of purpose from the sort of self-reflection and search for meaning that caused Johnson to put Fruit Bats on the shelf after 2011’s Tripper.
Taking a break from Fruit Bats after 2011's Tripper, bandleader Eric D. Johnson composed scores for a handful of films and released a solo album as EDJ before re-embracing his more well-known moniker. On Fruit Bats' sixth LP, Absolute Loser, he continues to operate as a band of one, at least in terms of official membership, though the record carries a jangle-rich, full-band presence.
A crescendo leads to a folk guitar riff. “It’s hard to be the last one in a soon-to-be ghost town/ When all that you’ve loved is now gone.” It’s been five years since the last Fruit Bats album, and three years since they announced their breakup with an essay on their website titled “Moving On”. Now Fruit Bats are back, with Eric D. Johnson’s pristine vocals and thoughtful ballads leading the group home to their sonic identity on Absolute Loser.
After 2011’s Tripper, Fruit Bats’ frontman Eric Johnson turned to making music outside of the band. The album he made, an eponymous record under the name EDJ, expanded on the shimmering astral sounds that hung on the edges of Tripper. Together, they felt in part like natural progression from the country-rock stomp of The Ruminant Band and previous albums, but also like a wholly fresh start.