Fruit of the Spirit

In the last several years, retro indie bands (Wavves, et al.) have gotten away with putting out lo-fidelity, minimalist records that appear to directly cater to urban hipsters looking for a languid fix. However, this apathetic approach leaves no lasting impact other than to spurn return visits, and it is where Fruit of the Spirit falls short as well. This album simply doesn’t provide enough energy or creativity to stand up to more prominent bands such as The Shins or Fleet Foxes, who are currently pushing the envelope of what can be done within the indie/folk genre by writing crafty songs with creative (and polished) studio production. The chief songwriter and driving force behind Paleo, David Strackany, delivers lackluster performances on “Pharoah” and “The Rager,” with off-key vocals and sparse instrumentation that come across as art for art’s sake. And with vague, clichéd lyrics like “Discovered you before the sky was blue/ we always knew you’d make it to the top” (from “In the Movies”), the album is memorable only for the apathy it breeds in the listener.