Sunday, 17 October 2010



There will always be mysticism and glamour attached to Japanese noise and with that can be an audience guaranteed.  And for tricks Melt-Banana tick so many exciting boxes.

Melt-Banana is a band that literally blasts out of Tokyo as their short sharp stabs of hardcore punk exhibit a most exciting noise.  The frenetic energy attached to the existence is an awe inspiring motion, one best saved and served at less delicate times.

I hate to admit it but for the longest time I did not realise that their vocalist was female, (which now feels crazy to me considering how similar to Manda Rin from Bis I find her).  However being that this was a band so crazy, I just thought they were from a different planet and gender was not an issue.  My bad.  Then again with a track such as “Type: Ecco System” there does feel less than subtle suggestion higher forces are at work.

On that note it is actually the actions of vocalist Yasuko Onuki that brought about the title of this album (their sixth studio album), apparently originating from an incident while on tour in the US when she hit a deer while driving the band’s tour band.  This is not a lady to be messed with.

There is something more J-Horror than J-Pop about Melt-Banana as very quickly song after song boils over into an explosive mess.  When you have heard one noise band sometimes there is the tendency to feel that you have heard them all but Melt-Banana does distinctly offer a varied take on the genre beginning with the unique vocals through to the various sound effects such as sirens (on “Plasma Gate Quest”) and barking dogs (“Blank Page Of The Blind”).  Then you just get out and out measured destruction such as on the appropriated entitled “Last Target On The Last Day”.

The energy that fuels this band is a magnificent one.  There feels three parts to this record as for the first half it takes a more measured, playful approach to noise before hitting a destruction note at “T For Tone” tearing into a quick succession of less or barely minute long hardcore tracks.  All in all it makes for an exhausting listening session.  These songs must be murder to record and perform.  And then with that part 3 is the book end of the aforementioned end of the world sounding “Last Target On The Last Day” which plays out the full on electronic tendencies that are regularly hinted at and threatened in amongst their noise songs.  Then with eighteen tracks done and dusted it is time for all parties involved to catch their breathe.  Bambi’s Dilemma is not just an album; it’s an experience, a total sensory assault.

Leave it to Thumper.

Thesaurus moment: sharp.

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