Everything awe-inspiring and horrifying about Japanese underground music — including ultra-chirpy female vocals, Gojira-scale percussive pummel, and smarter-than-you’ll-ever-be guitartronics — fuses into a hyperactive pop-savvy whole on Melt-Banana’s 11th and latest album, Fetch. Bass-slinging singer Yasuko Onuki and fifth-dimensional guitarist Ichirou Agata’s first studio album in six years (they recorded their lo-fi debut, Speak Squeak Creak, in Steve Albini’s basement studio in 1993) is an equally dazzling and daunting half-hour of infotainment overload. Drummers having come and gone, Onuki and Agata are touring as a duo, with impossible percussion provided by a computer. Avant-karaoke or not, the music’s core remains Onuki’s sweet-and-sour, hectoring motormouth and Agata’s time-hacking, electronically augmented speed-metal architectonics. Like their opening track suggests, Melt-Banana are a candy gun.
Fri., Nov. 1, 8 p.m., 2013
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 30, 2013