15th-17th July 2011 Joensuu, Finland

Melt-Banana (JPN)

Madness generator going to eleven

For the non-connoisseur, Japan is perhaps not the most credible of all the possible homelands for a rock band. Well, what have you got there: Loudness, j-rock, flabbergasting hair-dos... to name just a few of the most obvious clichés. But those who have done their homework know better: Japan is an incredible musical cornucopia, to say the least. The most excellent Japanese bands are capable of adopting what's worthiest in the Western music and then just forcing it all through their very special madness generator. The result is, at its best, expression going to extremes, all its unconventionality, technical skill and sense of humour making it irresistibly alluring to any fearless and broadminded listener.

Take Melt-Banana, for example. For fifteen years now, the Tokyo-based quartet (often just a trio) has signed, sealed and delivered to their audience everything you thought you knew about music in general. They play a sort of futuristic version of hard core punk where an extremely hasty tempo bounces against the walls only to crash spastically into the razor-sharp guitar fireworks. Over the years, Melt-Banana's music has stealthily gained some nuances rounding off the sharpest edges, but in terms of intensity, everything still goes to eleven. And there is a reason why the guitarist Agata is one of the scariest axemen in the trade: his instrument can deliver anything from roaring riffs to fire alarm-like noise to explosively acidic effect spectra.

Melt-Banana's released one of the most impressive series of albums of the last few years (Charlie, Teeny Shiny & Cell-Scape) and gained a reputation as a merciless live act that can stir up even the grumpiest audience into an ecstasy never seen before. Their show on the Sue Stage at Ilosaarirock Festival is 100% certain to be remembered, as the band puts it, as nothing less than "a charming chaos".

< Back

Rokumentti Rock Film Festival Kerubi Joensuu Pop Musicians' Association