After meeting in a Tokyo-based language school, where they were studying everything from Thai to Italian, the four members of Melt-Banana discovered one idiom that they all spoke fluently in addition to their native tongue: loud, spastic noise. With tiny, ferocious frontwoman YaSuko Onuki leading the sonic stampede, Melt-Banana offers an uncompromising listening experience for anyone with a zero attention span. Manifested in one-and-a-half-minute atonal outbursts, the band's aesthetic is characterized by neck-snapping rhythm changes, visceral shrieks and a wide array of gnashing guitar effects -- made all the more adventurous through the magic of lead six-stringer Agata's unique palm-muting technique. Though an oft-talked-about recording with John Peel (The Banana-Peel Sessions?) has yet to see daylight, Onuki and company are touring their demolition derby of confounding precision in support of 13 Hedgehogs, a compilation of self-released singles from the last decade. For ambient-hardcore fans of Fantomas and the Boredoms, the outfit's display of sizzle and scream makes for a language that needs no translation.
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