Melt Banana

Not everything that comes from Japan is cute. In fact, Melt Banana seems to be doing everything it can to deny the naturally adorable output of its birthplace. Formed 15 years ago, the band remains uncompromising in its ability to mess with audiences' preconceptions by gouging a Hello Kitty-shaped hole right through their eardrums. Employing the use of bass, guitar, theremin, computers and whatever the hell instrument makes that laser-zap sound, the noise band grinds screechy clamor against abrasive thumps with a dash of piercing dentist drill. But the effect is great: If you grit your teeth and listen long enough, you'll realize the band is actually taking you on an artful journey that culminates in a semi-melodic loop of blissed-out frequencies.

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