Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Melt-Banana [Insert Sinister Laughter Here]

Melt-Banana…muuhahahaa! I can’t say their name without laughing like that. Some bands are so extremely intense that their name deserves to be followed by sinister laughter. The first time I ever heard Melt-Banana, I thought for sure the DJ was playing the record at the wrong speed. I refused to believe that it was humanly possible to make those noises at that velocity. Well, believe it or not, it is possible – I saw it with my very own eyes last Saturday at the 7th Street Entry.

It was very appropriate that Birthday Suits opened. The two members – Hideo (guitar/vocals) and Yuichiro (drums) – were bandmates in the now-defunct Sweet J.A.P. Sweet J.A.P. served as the Twin Cities’ insightful connection to the Japanese garage/punk scene (they even did a split 7” with Das Boot). The five members are now distributed among four different bands, and forever must live in the shadow of Sweet J.A.P.’s award-winning, incendiary live shows. Despite the pressure, Birthday Suits played a great set. Yuichiro’s drumming was something to be marveled at, and Hideo kept the crowd on its toes by performing the last song in the middle of the audience.

Breather Resist was the non-Japanese act of the night. Their set took me back to my late teens; back when I’d get all sweaty and bruised at metal shows. Their sound, however, was slightly updated from the metal of the late-90s; it was a bit more intelligent – more informed by punk rock (which is necessary for alt-metal bands that wish to avoid the tainted nü-metal label). I’m still amazed by metal vocalists who are able to go on tour and consistently scream/growl night after night. I’m pretty sure I would lose my voice after the first five minutes of the first show. Breather Resist held my interest for about four songs, after that, I was ready to see Melt-Banana.

Muuhahahaa! Melt-Banana was awesome! I was foolish to think that I’d be able to keep my spot next to the stage. As soon as they started playing, things started getting a little pushy. I can’t keep up with that stuff like I used to. For some reason, I no longer get a kick out of sweaty bodies knocking me around. Plus, I actually wanted to focus on Melt-Banana, not the drunken crowd, so I decided to step back a few paces. I didn’t mind giving up my spot in order to watch the caffeinated noise-rockers in comfort. And boy, did they rock! I thoroughly enjoyed everything, from their suite of ten 15-second songs to their effed-up cover of Devo’s “Uncontrollable Urge.” The band’s stage presence was very entertaining as well. Agata, in his hood and surgical mask, was just as mysterious as the noises that he makes with his guitar. And Yasuko O. is so dang cute, I really hope she'll be my girlfriend someday. I was almost disappointed that they didn’t play my favorite song, “Shield Your Eyes, a Beast in the Well on Your Hand.” But they didn’t let me down; they wisely played it for the encore. I left completely satisfied.


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