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Scratch or Stitch

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Album Review

Beware: Scratch or Stitch is the sort of Japanese noise rock that could prove highly unsettling. Imagine rampaging drums, guitars even more gnarled and noisy than those on Sonic Youth's Dirty, a female vocalist screeching in monotone, and bass a funk metal band could be proud of, and you're about halfway there. This may sound like a racket — and it is — but it's such a tight, organized, and intense racket that you can't help but be awed by it; the band tears through 22 brief songs without ever leaving highest gear, and the production assistance from Steve Albini and Jim O'Rourke really capture the insane energy of the group. (And trust me — the "insane energy" you may imagine while reading this is nowhere close to what you'd hear on the album.) It's hard to imagine anyone sitting down and listening to this album in its entirety, but that certainly doesn't mean it's not good — the thrill here is the same sort that comes from the Boredoms' more ridiculous romps and the cascades of noise Merzbow passes off as albums. Among Western audiences, Melt Banana requires a very unique type of listener — they're a very unique sort of band.


Formed: 1991 in Tokyo, Japan

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Japanese noise rock band Melt Banana found more success in the U.S. and the U.K. than in their own country, gaining a small but dedicated fan base among American and European punk rock fans. Although their music sounds noticeably different from any sort of traditional punk, it contains some punk elements: shrieking vocals, overdriven guitars, and one-and-a-half-minute songs. Melt Banana's unique style, however, comes as a result of the distinctly piercing vocals of lead singer Yasuko O., as well...
Full Bio
Scratch or Stitch, Melt-Banana
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