Monday, 13 February 2012

Black Bananas - Rad Times Xpress IV

Psychedelic Bananas

Here’s an album that wah wahs and fuzzes and samples and distorts and synthesises and phases in and out and all about. The mish-mash of genres is given a heavy or trippy treatment throughout and that’s what entices and entertains. I don’t know what it is. Post-rock? Nu-rock? Rude-rock? It is funk and groove too, and more influences than I have the energy to identify – if that were possible – and then transcribe.

This is Jennifer Herrema post-Royal Trux and post-RTC, and whilst I knew a little about the former band I have no experience of the latter. I recall Royal Trux in the late 80s into 90s with their dirty rock and blues which was so refreshingly basic and brutal, recalling but renewing sounds from the 70s.

This latest endeavour is as brash and bold but seems to experiment with many more styles and presentations, including the Prince-like funk [because I’m listening to it now] of Do It, with elements of computer game battle sounds being fired within. The vocals are usually enhanced and altered and synthesised in some way, and the overall impact is of an electrical rewiring of fundamentally conventional songs that merge with the bubble and gurgle and voice-overs of other sounds and orchestrations. Then you get a track like My House that resurrects the Royal Trux sound: gritty female vocal and screeching guitar over a pounding beat – with mellotron? Then there’s the Hawkwindesque spacedirge of Earthquake; the rock and sax noise of Overpass; the ambient/industrial pop of Nightwalker; the punkrock and Hendrix of closer Killer Weed.

The cover is a perfect representation of the whole: all colour and splash and psychedelic attitude. Superb. 

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