Melt-Banana become a barrage. Don't slip. - Oh My Rockness

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Melt-Banana become a barrage. Don't slip.

April 14, 2005
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Before there was Lightning Bolt, there was (and still is) Japanese thrash-core-metal-math-monsters, Melt Banana. And, hot damn, I love this band for their versatility. It's easy to be a noise band -- you just make noise. And likewise, it's easy to be a groove band -- you just strum and strum and strum. But only a chosen few can be a noise-groove band, and Japan's Melt Banana does it better than anybody.

Yes, only Melt Banana can make an ear-splitting scream sound like a fantastical dream, and a brutally twisted guitar sound like the angel's instrument. "Singer" Yasuko O's piercing shrieks is the blitzing, frontline force of this band, while "guitarist" Agata is the heavy artillery that assaults you from behind. It seems appropriate to use battlefield metaphors for this band, since listening to them sure feels like a war. Your speakers are getting drilled, your ears are getting shelled, and your head is taking a pounding, all simultaneously.

This band can induce confusion and pain. But somehow, someway, it's melodic pain. Noise like this should not make you bounce and grin. But sure enough, whether you're seeing them blast their furious rage on stage, or just loudly listening to them from your cozy confines, Melt Banana's music makes for a sonic blitz you just can't help but slyly bop your head to. You know what's really going on underneath all the chaos. This music is just tight, tight, tight. I don't know how or why pain equals pleasure in the curious case of this band. All you and I really need to know is that this band rocks it hard. And while Melt Banana's mayhem may not be instantly accessible to some, it certainly provokes an instant gut reaction in virtually all. You either like it or you don't. If Melt Banana's wails are your thing, awesome, just don't expect to get the big thumbs up from your ear doctor. They hate this shit.

Melt-Banana play the Knitting Factory, Wednesday, April 20th.

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