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MELT-BANANA – “The Hive”


Melt-Banana have been crafting high-energy acid-abrasive melodic lightspeed punk for decades now, and their late 2013 LP Fetch (out now on MidHeaven in the States) shows no signs of the band getting old. “The Hive” blasts us with kaleidoscopic shards of some of the most otherworldly and hyperactive sonic mayhem known to humankind; par for the course for this insanely hard-working unit. The video reflects the controlled insanity at play by providing abstract visuals of the mind-melting variety. Yasuko Onuki’s vocals are as giddy, desperate, and assertive as always, riding the warp speed attack of guitarist’s Agata’s angular, effects-laden pummelling like a manic thrill-junkie on a speeding bullet train. It’s a challenge to describe what Agata is doing half the time because his intricate guitar playing can take the form of abstract sound collage and changes speeds and directions on a dime. By 1:40, the guitar seems to be looping at an incredible clip as the song drops into a blissfully surreal build-up reminiscent of house music that explodes back into a full-throttle punk assault and then collapses. WHEW. If you ever need to know why Melt-Banana are living legends, this is surely a place to start.

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