Japanese noise rock band Melt Banana found more success in the U.S. and the U.K. than in their own country, gaining a small but dedicated fan base among American and European punk rock fans. Although their music sounds noticeably different from any sort of traditional punk, it contains some punk elements: shrieking vocals, overdriven guitars, and one-and-a-half-minute songs. Melt Banana's unique style, however, comes as a result of the distinctly piercing vocals of lead singer Yasuko O., as well as the frenzied, effect-charged playing of guitarist Agata. Searing, intense, and mind-blowingly fast are perhaps the first adjectives that come to mind when listening to Melt Banana's music. Try to imagine an even more energetic incarnation of the Boredoms.
But, for many, the appeal of Melt Banana is not entirely limited to their music. Yasuko O.'s lyrics and song titles reflect a Japanese pop culture that is fascinating and strange, yet attractive to many non-Japanese fans. Melt Banana have capitalized on this phenomenon heavily in their merchandising as well as on their albums. As time passes, their overshadowing influence is becoming more and more evident within the cultish following of the noise-core movement. However, Melt Banana have gained the most recognition from their incredible severity and furious sound. Their shockingly intense live shows are that of sheer legend, with many fans leaving sweaty and exhausted, and Yasuko O. often persevering through nosebleeds.
Ed Schrader's Music Beat