Monday, 6 June 2016

Melt Banana live review (2003)

This review, for Logo Magazine, actually got a fan letter comparing me to Lester Bangs...

Melt Banana
Magnet, Liverpool

Like being woken up from dreamless stupor by a blueblooded 17-year old schoolgirl dominatrix horsewhipping your cock with a car aerial, Melt Banana’s craft of cryogen castigations and fearful force will raise sonic welts and let loose lurid madness in a shockshank, redemptive moment. The utterly deranged quartet, y’see, are absolutely and inviolably masters of their honest filth, and inspiringly torpor-trashing when viewed at close and crazed quarters.

The Magnet – a brilliant venue that combines the heavy-stereo d├ęcor of A Clockwork Orange with heaven-sent misfit melodic-core conscience – is jammed, rammed, slammed with dirty boys and sweaty girls in a pearly-skinned, sex-fried protoplasmic orgy, genuflecting frantically in insane, spazzed-out and scuzzed-out unison to these godbaiting priestprodders of fang-frenzied, gyroscopic sonic grime.

Spinning and screaming, this is an erotic explosion, an evocative intrusion, a fretfuck limbmash of hardcore chicanery that shoots shards of sheer sharkspite energy atcha in a humbling harangue. And Rica is ineffably beautiful and unfairly, majestically, technically, bassingly, brilliant, with moves reminiscent of a pissed-off-but-grinning speedsniffing panther providing a classy and crashzoom couterpoint to the sharpshapes of Yasuko O as she strips paint from the ceiling with her voice and vitriolic vitality. The rapid fire ray-gun gonzo geetars and devilbeaten drums command every fibre of my being to dance and shout and roar with life. I’m not alone. I fuckin swear that The Magnet itself is slamdancing down the street, forcing taxis off roads to ramraid kebab shops, scattering half-cooked meat of dubious origin hither and thither.

Melt Banana are an act that smash together some quite extrordinary musicianship with the terrorscamp bloodscurry of pure dynamic control. It’s served them well over four albums and a host of compilation releases – and on the eve of their fifth LP proper, jaws drop and eyes pop at this most nefarious of bands. You ain’t gonna get ballads with this lot – but you will fall in love with them. Fact. Fucked. Final answer. Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred Yen. My face and my soul now bear some new, ballsy, beautiful scars, and the world will forever echo with these tarnished tremors of power and poise. Perfection.

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