Melt Banana, Retox

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

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.

$14.00 - $17.00

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Melt Banana, Retox with Pop. 1820

Friday, November 8 · 8:00 PM at Club Dada