Melt Banana, Someone Still loves You Boris Yeltsin

Melt Banana

Japanese noise rock band Melt Banana found more success in the U.S. and the U.K. than in their own country, gaining a small but dedicated fan base among American and European punk rock fans. Although their music sounds noticeably different from any sort of traditional punk, it contains some punk elements: shrieking vocals, overdriven guitars, and one-and-a-half minute songs. Melt Banana's unique style, however, comes as a result of the distinctly piercing vocals of lead singer Yasuko O., as well as the frenzied, effect-charged playing of guitarist Agata. Searing, intense, and mind-blowingly fast are perhaps the first adjectives that come to mind when listening to Melt Banana's music. Try to imagine an even more energetic incarnation of the Boredoms. Agata and O. joined bassist Rika in 1992, and in 1994 signed with British label Chocolate Monk. Their one release on that label, titled Cactuses Come in Flocks, was made available at first only on cassette tape. They later signed to Skin Graft and released Speak, Squeak, Creak in 1994, followed by Scratch or Stitch in 1995. Scratch or Stitch was recorded and mixed by Chicago avant-garde masters Steve Albini and Jim O'Rourke, and showcases some of Melt Banana's best work. The band released Charlie in 1998, as well as a live album on John Zorn's label Tzadik in that same year. Teen Shiny followed in fall 2000. For many, the appeal of Melt Banana is not entirely limited to their music. Yasuko O.'s lyrics and song titles reflect a Japanese pop culture that is unfamiliar, yet attractive to many non-Japanese fans. Melt Banana capitalized on this phenomenon heavily, in their merchandising as well as on their albums. However, it is the band's incredible intensity and furious sound that has gained them the most recognition. ~ Ben Tausig, All Music Guide

Someone Still loves You Boris Yeltsin

Met at a Super Bowl party in 1999. Broncos vs. Falcons
Got the band name in 2000.
Got a real singer in 2001.
Can't remember anything in 2002.
Parents and friends finally start liking us in 2003 or 2004.
First album. Broom. 2005. First tour.
Signed to Polyvinyl Records in 2006. Our song "Oregon Girl" is on The OC. The OC gets canceled a few weeks later.
Boris Yeltsin dies 2007 and we play at his funeral in Moscow (66% true). Also in 2007: First Europe tour with Jakub. Toured with Mute Math. Phil tries to kill John with a bar stool after a bad show in New Mexico.
Second Album. Pershing. 2008. Jonathan briefly quits the band.
2009. We got 16 and Pregnant. Start recording LP3 with Chris Walla.
Third album. Let It Sway. August 17, 2010
Toured with Tokyo Police Club and Tour Door Cinema Club in 2011.
Broom reissued on April 16, 2011
SSLYBY in Shark Night 3D September 2011.
B-sides/Rarities album. It's called Tape Club. September 2011. .
First Japanese tour. Summer 2012.
Named U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors.
Return to Mother Russia 2013.
Working on a new album now. Out on Polyvinyl Records and MOOR WORKS in Japan. FALL 2013.

All that matters in the grand scheme of things is the band is not directly comparable to what has come before them. But if we must: RETOX is an outcome of stagnant and boring western culture, as well as the self proclaimed counterculture, which has slipped into a sea of pointlessness. The band manages to detach themselves from what one might consider a promotional paragraph trying to explain what is not really important to the band themselves; such as a list of influences – they are influenced by much more than music, but more so by the world at large. The band has no goal for what the future holds. Sonically, the band's crude and primitive aspects make sense in this day and age. The band is a reaction to the world that the members and their comrades have lived in: shitty childhoods, bureaucratic frustration, and the overall justification of continuous war. That sensibility coupled with a modern artistic delivery, the music is educated as well as furious, and most importantly, blurring genre lines of punk, hardcore, thrash, metal and whatever else seems fitting to the critics. RETOX features members of some grand dick-sucking accomplishments, acts such as The Locust, Head Wound City, Holy Molar, All Leather, Some Girls, Swing Kids, Cattle Decapitation, Struggle, The Festival of Dead Deer, and The Crimson Curse.

The past few years were very exciting for the independent band. Army Navy released their first (Lasus produced) album on their own Fever Zone Label in 2008 and quickly garnered great admiration from fans and in the press. CMJ called it "..some of the brightest pop released this year". The quartet's first single "My Thin Sides," which was paired with a hilarious video featuring Paul Scheer of Human Giant took the blogosphere by storm. The second single "Saints" which Blender Magazine called "a lovely indie-rock swoon" was the prestigious Single Of the Week on iTunes Australia and was released on the UK's Fierce Panda's Club Fandango Label. Stateside, it gained radio rotation on tastemaker stations like KEXP and KNRK and satellite radio's indie-leaning XMU station.

The band found success in the placement world as well. The indie rock date-flick Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist prominently featured two Army Navy songs alongside artists like Vampire Weekend, Modest Mouse and The National; one of the songs being an exclusive track for the movies soundtrack. They have also been featured in the Shrek Forever After theatrical trailer, Beastly Film and Soundtrack, The Bachelor ABC TV commercial, and shows like: Weeds, The OC, Numbers, Greek, and many more.

Over the past few years the band have taken their dynamic live show on the road supporting such groups as: The Lemonheads, Arctic Monkeys, The Dodos, The Soft Pack, The Like, and Cut Copy; as well as explosive shows at SXSW and CMJ and the UK's Truck festivals. The band was even asked to be musical guests on the short-lived Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien!

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Melt Banana, Someone Still loves You Boris Yeltsin with Retox, Army Navy

Friday, November 15 · 7:00 PM at The Glass House