standards - Fruit Island
Led by the exuberant melodies of cross-tapping guitarist Marcos Mena, the LA duo standards make meticulous instrumental math-rock whose effervescent riffs teem with sunny enthusiasm. On the band’s debut full-length, Fruit Island, standards deftly retool math-rock’s unforgiving, challenging tendencies into a style that is both danceable and compositionally profound. Drummer Forrest Rice’s boisterous chops complement Mena’s unpredictable melodies, grounding the unusual self-dueling riffs and balancing the bright compositions with tasteful fills and immaculate syncopations.
Fruit Island’s lead single, “Special Berry,” blends simplicity and complexity into a charming jaunt of nimble fingertapping and agile between-the-lines drumming. Mena’s melodies contort and twist expertly into Rice’s bouncing energy, the springy grooves of which are equally attention demanding and rewarding.
Despite being strictly instrumental, the band’s technical and precise stylings are always catchy and singable, inviting listeners to join the band’s dancing fruit mascots whose colorful personalities reflect the music’s upbeat nature. Fruit Island’s second single, “May,” perfectly captures the duo’s fruity alternate universe, conjuring images of grinning melons and berries bobbing along to pleasantly angular riffs and chop-heavy drums. The guitar glitters like the sand on Fruit Island, somehow both calculated and carefree with its breezy and bright character.
On “Starfish,” the duo find a way to meld percussive energy with delicate resonance, creating an animated and dynamic sonic landscape. standards again strike their signature compositional balance with equal parts intensity and restraint, representing Fruit Island’s essence with a constant stream of excitable, succinct passages.