Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Scratch Or Stitch
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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Phrenetic, Daring, Original, Japanese
Mendicant Pigeon | pdx, or United States | 11/29/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, if you have never heard Melt Banana before, you are in for a very interesting aural ride. In fact, it is a daunting prospect even to write about the Melt Banana experience. By the following statement I mean absolutely no disrespect, Melt fans, so please don't take offense: The thing that I most like about them is their name which strikes me as the funniest, most brilliant and original name for a musical group I can think of. Having said this I must say that from the standpoint of sound originality, they command profound respect. How to describe it? Well, if you have ever heard a so-called "singing saw," (an instrument created by using a violin bow to create a reverberation in the blade of a rip saw and then to manipulate this hum by shaping the blade by bending to make the blade literally sing) then you can easily imagine the voice of the vocalist. I have never seen her but I imagine her to be small and squeaky and demonic. She is backed by drums and, I believe, two guitarists. The compositions they play, one dares not call them songs, are screamed, shouted, chanted, yelled and yipped to the accompaniment of gnarly, screaming, often heavily distorted guitar riffs and beautifully played, if seemingly speed-induced staccato drum rolls and cymbal clashes. The guitar reminds me of a punky Frank Zappa playing with a sneer. I can't think of a corresponding analogy for the drummer, but he is skilled. The verbals are composed of words and semi-meaningless phrases spouted seemingly at random with consideration only for the rhythmic sensibilties built into each stanza. A couple of decades ago I bought an album by an Australian band called, 'Birthday Party,' titled, I believe, 'Zoo Music Girl.' This is the closest that I have come since then to repeating such an experience with what might best be described as otherworldy noise: It isn't very much fun to listen to but it is nevertheless oddly compelling.
I first encountered a reference to Melt Banana in "Goings on About Town" in The New Yorker, in which the reviewer heavily praised the overwhelming Blitzkrieg-like presentation of the band but who made only a passing mention of the nature of the music. Since then I have seen it written that their live show really packs a punch. Therein lies the paradox of Melt Banana's original brand of music: It is difficult to get warm and fuzzy about but it is of the kind that when one hears they are playing, this causes one to very much wish to attend the show, if only to satisfy one's morbid curiousity."