1993 was the year the noisy minimalist Japanese grind space punk universe changed, when Melt-Banana burst onto the Tokyo scene.

Yasuko (Yako), the intense singer, wrangled up a few folk to burst some speakers, and eventually Rika, Ichiro Agata and Toshiaki Sudoh joined the ruckus to great effect.

Noise-meisters K. K. Null and Steve Albini were involved with the earliest releases, and their first album [Speak Squeak Creak], started them on the rocket to international micro-stardom. They even toured Japan in 1995 with UFO or Die (Eye and Yoshimi of the Boredoms), so you know they have to be right up my alley.

I joined the rhythmical nonsense noise train in 1996, when they released [Scratch or Stitch] in the US, also recorded by Mr. Albini. I was lucky enough to catch them live at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco soon after, and was blown away by their maximalist ultra burst sonical skills. They actually sing in English a lot of the time, but you wouldn't know it by listening (which is exactly part of the charm).

It took me a while to come back to Melt-Banana, but their last opus [Teeny Shiny] (out on A-Zap, Melt-Banana's own label) is the shit. Songs like [Free the Bee] sound like Mix Master Mike getting high with the love child of the Ramones and the Boredoms, if you know what I mean. It's the kind of record you burn buildings to, only to put out the fire with your own spit at the end.

If you know what's good for your bad self (and you don't mind some ear ping pong) then Melt-Banana is the japan-core band of your dreams. Recommended for the adventurous.


Yasuko Onuki: Vocals
Ichiro Agata: Guitar
Rika mm' (Rika Chang): Bass
Toshiaki Sudoh: Drums
Youichiro Natsume: Drums for [Charlie]



New Album Coming Relatively Soon

From the Melt-Banana newsletter on 3.2006: "Yes, we are now making a new album, and we always take a long time to make songs. Today, during we are working, computer suddenly stopped and data vanished. Sometimes it happens..."

JM = Junk Magnet has this

1st Album:
[Speak Squeak Creak] JM
Nux (Japan), Charnel Music

2nd Album:
[Scratch or Stitch] JM
Meldac (Japan), Skin Graft

3rd Album:
[Charlie] JM
A-Zap (Japan), Revolver

4th Album (Live):
[MxBx1998 / 13,000 Miles At Light Velocity] JM

5th Album (Re-Release, from 1994):
[Cactuses Come In The Flocks]JM
A-Zap AZCD-0002

6th Album:
[Teeny Shiny] JM
A-Zap ASCD-0003

7th Album:
[Cell-Scape] JM
A-Zap ASCD-0005

8th Album:
[13 Hedgehogs (MxBx Singles 1994-1999)] JM
A-Zap ASCD-0006

For a more complete discography, check out the first two links to the right. I'll update things with album covers soon.



Melt-Banana Official [E]
Very Useful

Melt-Banana [E]
Souther Records Page

Melt-Banana Fan Site [E]
Nice Site

Melt-Banana Interview [E]
Very Entertaining

Melt-Banana Page [E]
Great Fan Site

Melt-Banana Shrine [E]
Small Fan Page

Melt-Banana Pics 1
Nice Pictures

Melt-Banana Pics 2
Concert Pictures

Melt-Banana Concert Photos [E]
Great Photos

Google Melt-Banana Search

E-Mail Melt Banana


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junk magnet
po box 11501
berkeley, ca
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