Exit International are surprisingly upbeat for a band named after a pressure group for assisted suicide. Their industrial strength party rock is like a night out with the lads – good fun at the time, but somewhat hard to recall in the morning.
Osaka's Melt Banana have scanned the punk rulebook, warped it beyond recognition, and deleted the original from their collective hard drive. Rika [left]'s upfront basslines are informed by acid house, while the punishing double-time beats - courtesy of whoever's drumming for them this week - owe more to gabba than Black Flag. Meanwhile, Agata's Hendrix-meets-Public Enemy lead playing marks him out as the 21st Century guitar hero to beat, and the perfect foil to Yasuko's surreal, channel-hopping lyrics.
The encore's “ten short songs” showcase Agata's shock and awe imitations of lasers, sirens and controlled explosions, before the blistering ‘Blank Page of The Blind’ - with its thrashing breakdowns and samples of barking dogs - propels us reluctantly back to Earth.
Melt Banana are ecstatically, brutally, impossibly entertaining. It's such a shame there's only one of them.
This review originally appeared in Venue magazine. Thanks to Tim Alban for the pic.