Fruit n Beef from Santa Barbara, CA is a four piece rock band in which the fruit represents the juicy, soulful, rocking female vocals and the “beef” part, the heavy riffs and sound of guitars and blood pumping drums. Since the fall of 2012 when the band started to write as Fruit n Beef, they have been focusing on playing live shows but still managed to record 4 tracks at Playback Studio in Santa Barbara. The band released the debut single “In My Head” followed by “Hollow” in the spring of 2013. That same year they released their debut EP “Into the Light”.
The trio Henrieta Stepanovsky, Mario Stepanovsky and Robert Kminiak has been together for over a decade, creating and recording different musical projects and growing as a band. After 5 years of performing and recording in their home country Slovakia they hungered for a better life and relocated to the United Kingdom, and two years later to the state of Texas USA. 4 Years later, the band moved to California and continued to play live, evolving into what is now known as Fruit n Beef.
After drummer Zac Godlove’s departure, the band focused on producing new songs and later started rehearsing with Austin Beede, a local Santa Barbara drummer, who would later record with Fruit n Beef at Playback Studio. The band has recently released their new single “A Little Crazy” supported by a music video.
It’s early days yet, to say if this is a slight move in direction, or just a short detour, but “A Little Crazy” is infused with heavy reggae rhythms as opposed to the straight crunchy hard rock of “Into the Light”. Not that the rock has disappeared. It’s still there, flourishing across the choruses. It’s just that the band have added another dimension to this track.
After hearing this single it is clear that Fruit n Beef has become much more cohesive as a group. The new release is their crowning achievement. Granted, they presently only have a small body of recorded work, but the new single indicates the sky is the limit for this band. I believe this recording is an improvement from the first release, especially if the band is moving toward more mainstream approval.
You only have to give this track a couple of listens before you realize that it is a great piece of crossover work. It is a template on how classic music is made. Henrieta Stepanovsky is a stellar vocalist in the rock genre and she captures the mood of this song perfectly with her powerhouse vocal inflections. The guitar work by courtesy of Mario Stepanovsky separates the Fruit n Beef sound from their competitors, while Austin Beede and Rob Kminiak do a great job in keeping the rhythm section pumping without ever overplaying, as they move through a reggae jam verse to a rock anthem chorus.
“A Little Crazy” is fantastic as it stands on its own. Yes it’s different to their previous EP release, but musicians are artists, and as such must expand upon and move into different areas to develop creatively. If you want growth you must expect change.
What comes across loud and clear however is that these guys and a girl are group of talented musicians who have paid their dues and refined their style over time. “A Little Crazy” is good, fun listening, and it finds Fruit n Beef coming into their new musical phase in life. Great job!