Melt-Banana

Cell-Scape (A-Zap)

Melt-Banana

Cell-Scape (A-Zap)

Melt-Banana cuts its teeth playing a dizzyingly fast, mildly comedic variant of grindcore often classified under the avant-garde catchall "Japanoise." On 2003's Cell-Scape, the band made a stylistic leap forward, recruiting veteran American drummer Dave Witte, then compressing his sound to within an inch of its life for a cyborglike pulse that grooved heavy with robotic consistency. Guitarist Ichirou Agata, meanwhile, expanded his use of effects to produce an inhuman variety of sounds, simulating everything from lasers and aircraft to slide whistles and a skipping CD. Combined with the rapid-fire word salad of vocalist Yasuko Onuki and augmented by the noise workouts that bookend the album, these techniques create something like cyberpunk thrash: the hardcore equivalent of a schizophrenic light show at a video arcade or a ride through an animated, futuristic Tokyo on a speeding motorcycle.

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