Melt-Banana

Melt-Banana

Profile:
Melt-Banana is a band from Tokyo, Japan. They were formed around 1991/1992 by singer Yasuko Onuki. Yasuko soon met guitar player Ichirou Agata and they also teamed up with bassist Rika. In the early stages they performed under the name Mizu. Famous noise musician KK Null (of Zeni Geva) took notice and arranged for them to fly to Chicago, USA to work with Steve Albini on their first album "Speak Squeak Creak" (1994) which Null released on his own label Nux Organization. Their second album "Scratch or Stitch" was released on cult label Skin Graft and since then they've released all their albums on their own A-Zap Records. They first got big notice on their US tour with Mr. Bungle.
The core sound of Melt-Banana is punk and the distinct "puppy-yelping" vocals shouted by Yasuko coupled with Agata's charcteristic guitar playing using a wide array of special effects pedals which often sound something like hip-hop/scratching has given them a very large cult following over the world. They have collaborated with Merzbow, John Zorn and Otomo Yoshihide among others, all big names in the "noise scene". And with 6 studio albums, 2 live albums, 20+ singles, EPs, splits and collaborations under their belt they continue to pour out their music and tour frequently.
Recently they have played several shows under the name MELT-BANANA Lite. This is when they perform without any guitar or bass and just using drums/vocals and an array of electronics and theremins.
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Melt-Banana Discography

Albums

CHOC-030 Melt-Banana Cactuses Come In The Flocks (Album) Chocolate Monk CHOC-030 UK 1994 Sell This Version
NUX-D 9 Melt-Banana Speak Squeak Creak (Album) Nux Organization NUX-D 9 US 1994 Sell This Version
GMCD-016 Optical-8*, Melt Banana*, Elliot Sharp* , and Zeena Parkins Optical-8*, Melt Banana*, Elliot Sharp* , and Zeena Parkins - Chipfarm(CD) God Mountain GMCD-016 Japan 1995 Sell This Version
MECI-25041 Melt-Banana Scratch Or Stitch (Album) Skin Graft Records, Nux Organization MECI-25041 Japan 1995 Sell This Version
AZLP-0001 Melt-Banana Charlie (Album) A-Zap Records AZLP-0001 US 1998 Sell This Version
TZ 7219 Melt Banana* MxBx 1998/13000 Miles At Light Velocity(CD, Album) Tzadik TZ 7219 US 1999 Sell This Version
AZCD-0003 Melt-Banana Teeny Shiny (Album) A-Zap Records AZCD-0003 US 2000 Sell This Version
AZLP-0005 Melt-Banana Cell-Scape (Album) A-Zap Records AZLP-0005 US 2003 Sell This Version
AZCD-0007 Melt-Banana Bambi's Dilemma (Album) A-Zap Records AZCD-0007 US 2007 Sell This Version
AZCD-0008 Melt-Banana MELT-BANANA Lite LIVE: ver.0.0(CD, Album) A-Zap Records AZCD-0008 Japan 2009 Sell This Version
AZLP-0009 Melt-Banana Fetch (Album) A-Zap Records AZLP-0009 Japan 2013 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

CHS-5 Melt-Banana Hedgehog(7", EP) Charnel Music CHS-5 US 1994 Sell This Version
HG-024 Melt-Banana / God Is My Co-Pilot Melt-Banana / God Is My Co-Pilot - Melt-Banana / God Is My Co-Pilot(7", Ltd) HG Fact HG-024 Japan 1994 Sell This Version
GR 24, NUX-EP 01 Melt-Banana It's In The Pillcase Skin Graft Records, Nux Organization GR 24, NUX-EP 01 US 1995 Sell This Version
HG-042 Melt-Banana / Discordance Axis Melt-Banana / Discordance Axis - Melt-Banana / Discordance Axis(7", Ltd) HG Fact HG-042 Japan 1995 Sell This Version
AM-16 Melt-Banana / Pencilneck Melt-Banana / Pencilneck - Split(7") Anti-Music Records AM-16 US 1995 Sell This Version
none Melt-Banana / Target Shoppers Melt-Banana / Target Shoppers - Split E.P.(7", EP, Blu) Destroy All Music, Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers none US 1996 Sell This Version
gg703 Melt-Banana Untitled (Piano One)(7", EP, Num) Gentle Giant Records gg703 US 1996 Sell This Version
some 03 Melt-Banana / Stilluppsteypa Melt-Banana / Stilluppsteypa - Melt-Banana / Stilluppsteypa(10") Something Weird some 03 Iceland 1996 Sell This Version
CT-008 Melt Banana* / Xerobot Melt Banana* / Xerobot - Split(5", EP) Coat-Tail Records CT-008 US 1997 Sell This Version
POP 7.001, RR14 Melt-Banana / Killout Trash Melt-Banana / Killout Trash - Most Wanted World Wide(7", Ltd) kool.POP, Rødel Records POP 7.001, RR14 Germany 1997 Sell This Version
SR 06, U-46198M Melt Banana* / Plainfield Melt Banana* / Plainfield - Split(7", Ltd, Red) Smelly Records, Smelly Records SR 06, U-46198M US 1997 Sell This Version
#39 Melt-Banana Eleventh(7", Cle) Slap A Ham Records #39 US 1997 Sell This Version
HG-097 Melt-Banana Dead Spex (EP) HG Fact HG-097 Japan 1998 Sell This Version
PAN 036 Melt Banana* / Camp Blackfoot / God Is My Co-Pilot / Tear Off A Doll* Melt Banana* / Camp Blackfoot / God Is My Co-Pilot / Tear Off A Doll* - Erase Yer Head # 9 (Single) Pandemonium Records (2) PAN 036 France 1999 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 2 Reviews

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kamikaze_deadboy

kamikaze_deadboy

April 7, 2014
edited about 1 year ago
no reviews?! I will start off by saying MxBX are a very unique and sometimes uneasy listening band, you can either love or hate MxBx (i personally love them). Once described by Kerrang! magazine as "been trapped in a elevator with slayer and a three ring circus" (in a good way) MxBx's sound is heavily spearheaded by Agata's mighty guitar effects, Yasuko's occasional yelping lyrics, speedy grindcore-esque breakblast drums and (now formely) jazzy rough bass provided by Rika.

the lyrics are often silly and amusing nonsensical about animals and things that all rhyme together, but this is just another facet of the MxBx sound. beginners might instantly turn off if they hear the early melt banana sound from 1994-1995, but after teeny shiny and onwards their music actually became listenable, and enjoyable/sometimes confusing to introduce some of my more "extreme" metal friends.

If you are keen though i suggest picking up Cell Scape as a starter album (as i did, and never looked back) and then work your way backwards to see which era you prefer, as albums like Scratch Or Stitch may test your patience in listening. Also be sure to check some of their cover song work, as they totally ripped songs like the beach boy's surfin' USA into a whole new level of groove.

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