Review Summary: Eat your heart out Gretchen Wieners
I need to clear the air here before we get things started: noise rock isn’t exactly my forte. It’s not something silly holding me back, like the grating dissonance offends my musical sensibilities, or my pansy ears can’t handle the feedback – it’s more like I’m just not exactly attuned to it; I haven’t done enough listening. Sure my inexperience with almost every iteration of post-punk inspired genres may suggest that I’m underqualified to rave about batshit Japanese two-piece Melt-Banana, but don’t overanalyze; that should speak only to the almost overwhelming accessibility of the band’s new album Fetch
. Built atop a tightly sequenced drum machine and futuristic squeaks, squawks and everything in between, Fetch
is the small concrete room in which vocalist Yasuko Onuki and guitarist Ichirou Agata have confined themselves, furiously bouncing off the walls as they regurgitate insanity for 12 tracks and 33 minutes. Yasuko yelps feverishly, like a manic tommy gun of staccato screeches, while Agata, with his penchant for robotic effects pedals and gluttony for heavy caffeine injections attacks with the kitchen sink (see: the end of “Schemes of the Tails”), a maelstrom of schizophrenic fun engulfing the album. “The Hive”, simultaneously being the album’s shortest song and most glossy highlight, slams like an aural rapture in every sense – Yasuko’s drowning calls melt rapturously into euphoric whistles which drive the verse, drunk, into a frenzied chorus as bumbling and chaotic as the prophesized return of Christ. “Lie Lied Lies” convulses with comic book (complete with light speed flashes of noise and lyrics that sound
like “It’s a bird, it’s a plane!”) hysteria, epileptic guitars thrashing in bursts of color, while “My Missing Link” rumbles from sharp feedback into full-blown entropy, Yasuko’s choruses soaring with intense urgency high above Agata’s thunderous clamor below. Noticing a trend? The album is non-stop chaos, brimming with vivid, brilliant color and flavor – Fetch
is almost like the audible version of a sharp Technicolor cartoon that you might watch while trippin off your ass, throwing your limp arms around like a retarded zombie. It’s the sound of the world crumbling from overdoses of exhilaration, and it’s as rowdy and psychotic as we’ll all be in those final moments. Stomp your fuckin’ feet.