Melt Banana have long lived in a strange world entirely of their own making. They make a kind of thrashy prog-core music with yelped words over instruments thrashing out songs in previously unseen time signatures. Fetch moved on from the wild pop punk of their previous Bambi’s Dilemma to produce an even more out there approach with fractured shards of guitar electronics and crazy synths.
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5/10 Dan John 27th March 2014
Melt Banana by numbers. This is a solid album, but it doesn’t really add anything new to the Melt Banana canon. It’s sonically similar to the last album, but even more polished and produced. I don’t think they should go back to the early lo-fi days of ‘Speak Squeak Creak’, but, in my opinion, a sweet spot was definitely found on ‘Teeny Shiny’ and ‘Cell-Scape’. They remain the band’s best albums and should be the ones examined first. But as for this album we have the usual mix of frantic drumming (programmed this time), squeaky / cutesy japanese girl singing, varied and innovative guitar work (he must have a lot of effects pedals) and driving bass. It’s remarkably light and poppy for them actually. There are spacey moments and at the end of Side A has some field recordings of frogs. I don’t know what the deal is with the frogs. It’s all a bit predictable, the riffs are solid, but the lack of new ideas is noticeable. Songs pass by and are instantly forgotten. The last track ‘Zero+’ tries something a bit different, much more pop and mainstream, but I don’t think the treated vocals work at all. Something went wrong with this album, it’s probably their worst. I’ve had it since it came out and only listened to it three times. Listening to it now for this review I can understand why. I mean, I’d rather listen to this than whatever’s on the front of the NME, but that’s not saying much. Forgettable. Ribbit.
9/10 Xanel Cava 15th November 2013
Badass riffs, loud enough to deteriorate your hearing by the end of this sweet 30 minute listen. A whole smorgasbord of electronic sounds but a wholly consistent album. Yasujo Onuki's gorgeously shrill and catchy lyrics are worth reading further into. The most rewarding thing about this album would be its infinite replay value. Along with Kyary's new record one of my favourites this year. Hail Japan!
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