Next to Einsturzende Neubauten, these Japanese noise-mongers hold the distinction of being one of the loudest bands on the planet. Like the mythic group Disaster Area, from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, listeners would be well advised to enjoy the show from outside the venue — or in a concrete bunker on the nearest adjacent planet. What separates this din from random jet engines and brimstone-fueled wailing, however, is a diabolical layering of Ichirou Agata's fluid guitar and unusually pronounced clattering bass from Rikka. Once you're acclimated, it all makes for quite complex and artfully crafted music. Singer Yasuko Onuki is often unfairly compared to Yoko Ono simply because there's no other frame of reference for screeching Rising Sun songstresses. On the Sex Pistols-inspired Bambi's Dilemma, her punk-hop bombast decreases to an intelligible degree. Though now slightly more accessible, Melt-Banana still makes John Zorn seem mainstream.
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