Fat Tree: The Great Give & Take

FatTreeGive.jpg
Fat Tree - The Great Give & Take
Artist: Fat Tree

Title: The Great Give & Take

Basics: Originally from Alamogordo, New Mexico, Gilbert's Fat Tree are billed as a rock/funk/jam band. Nowhere in there, however, is the descriptor "painfully white," because that's what I can't help but hear when I listen to this album -- a bunch of white dudes trying to play what they call "funk." Furthering this notion, the band has this offer about themselves: 

Every once in a while, a band comes along that restores your faith in the future of popular music. That band needs to get you to bob your head, shake your hips, and close your eyes and take you to that escape from the stresses of your day. Fat Tree is such a band. 

Kidding or not, that is just not funny or quirky or whatever. Nor is it true.

Best Song: "Get Here Soon" tries to be neither funky nor jammy -- it's a toned down, mellow affair that has perfect placing on the album. Usually a band will put their slowed down, heartfelt ballad as the second or third song on the album, putting the brakes on whatever momentum they had. I have to tip my cap to Fat Tree for putting "Get Here Soon" as the sixth song on the album. It fits in perfectly with the album's momentum, as well as displaying lead singer Kyle Jacobs' vocals at their best. Sure, Fat Tree is plenty funky and whatnot when they want to be, but it's when they decide to take things down a notch that their true talent shines through.

Worst Song: If "Get Here Soon" features the best of Kyle Jacobs' vocals, then "Just Us" unfortunately features them at their worst. There is a point at about two minutes into the song where he tries to hit a high note and falls flat on his face. It's as cringeworthy to write about as it is to listen to. The song is pretty forgettable otherwise -- there are elements of the funk that Fat Tree holds so dearly, but the song just meanders through a half-awake state of whatever, coming across more as filler than an actual, solid track on the album.

Suggestions: Whoever chose the font for the album artwork should not be in charge of making similar decisions in the future. The album art is the first thing people see when they get your album -- choose something that looks more professional over something that looks like it was forged in KidPix. You can also tone down that ridiculous band bio on your Facebook and ReverbNation pages -- you're not the future of "popular music," nor are you restoring anyone's faith in it.

Grade: C-

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:


Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix, AZ 85034



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9 comments
Jeeves
Jeeves

I was checking out one of my favorite band's pages on Facebook and saw this posted on Fat Tree's Facebook page with a nice little jab in there. It's pretty funny that Up On The Sun posted this on their Facebook page and actually liked their own status! Who does that?! Classy. Real classy. I don't think Fat Tree has anything to worry about from a wack review from a publication that A: likes their own Facebook status, and B: has less fans than the band they are reviewing. Keep on rocking guys and don't let the uneducated naysayers get under your skin!

Michael Lopez
Michael Lopez

I don't know who in the hell "liked" the link on UOTS' facebook page, but it sure as shit wasn't me.

That would be wiggity wack for me to like it. I most certainly checked myself before I wrecked myself on that one.

Awareness Gang
Awareness Gang

Gotta say, I agree with Mr Lopez. The band members are all very white, and that is a problem. I hate looking at an all white band. It makes me bored. Also, I do not belive that white people are trult capable of the levels of funk that I have grown accustomed to. So thank you, Mr Lopez. Thank you for making fun of white people. Its the only racism you can't get sued for.

linkiss
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JakeC
JakeC

I could not disagree more if I tried. Michael lopez is simply wrong. I realize we are all entitled to our opinions, but Fat Tree is a welcomed chang of pace from the typical metal/rock scene in the valley. I am impressed, however, with Mr. Lopez' ability to hear color in music. One might argue that describing music as "painfully white" might be in fact "painfully racist". Mr. Lopez has clearly evolved beyond the realm of mere mortals and entered into the NanoAudio galaxy, where sound waves are transformed to reflect images of its creators. Don't hate just 'cause you can't relate...

Lame review. Fat Tree is legit.

Michael Lopez
Michael Lopez

Stopped reading after you said "I realize we are all entitled to our opinions."

painfullywhite
painfullywhite

That's basically why you're not qualified to write a decent review. You're ignorant. Had you spent your time listening and researching the band you would know that there are two singers in Fat Tree. Whether you like their vocal performance or not, do your homework. You basically threw your credibility out the window with the opening paragraph. Why you have a suggestion portion of your review is beyond me if you're only gonna rag on the album font style and give no constructive criticisms to the music itself. New Times does it again, finding incompetent morons to write biased reviews on local bands. I've got plenty more to say but I have several "painfully black" rap albums to go review for my half assed blog. Peace.

Jeeves
Jeeves

I was trying to reply to Michael Lopez's comment below, but is doesn't let you reply. So, Michael, I don't think that Painfully White is questioning why you have a suggestions section. He is pointing out the fact that in that section, you only talk about the album font and really have nothing constructive to say about the music itself. I own this album and furthermore, I don't think Mr Lopez listened to it all the way through. Because I am almost certain he would have had at least something to say about the live tracks on the album.

Michael Lopez
Michael Lopez

If you bothered to do your "homework" you'd know that I include "Suggestions" in every single YAFI review that I do. For an unsigned band that wants to be taken somewhat seriously, that font on the album cover doesn't help at all. It says "amateur" in every way possible. If you're going to take the time to actually put together and release an album, the least you could do is make it look somewhat professional.

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