Review: Melt Banana – Fetch

“Candy Gun” is precisely what I expected. Ruthless but also sickly; a pleasure excess that makes me feel like I’m in a washing machine full of vibrant pools of paint; little pockets of galloping punk engaging in a white knuckle call-and-response with sudden booms of kaleidoscopic meltdown. Many of these descriptors can happily be reprised throughout Fetch ­– the record pumps the neon lights and intimidating volume of club music into the brevity and loose-cannon impulses of grindcore, freeze-framing the moment at which sensory gratification becomes overloaded, right before the body refutes the experience via the gushing ejection of rainbow vomit.

But if Melt Banana existed purely to push listeners’ tolerance limits into the red, who would still be listening? The band demonstrate an unspoken awareness of what happens as the intensity tips off the end of the scale and stays there. The ears begin to notice new details as the senses recalibrate to the high velocity blur, and what first manifests as an excavation of organic energy begins to adopt a certain dullness, a sort of cyber plasticity: the quickening outro of “Schemes Of The Tails” starts to sound like a electronic engine exploding under excessive voltage, while the glitzy guitars of “Lie Lied Lies” spin and intersect like a psychedelic laser show. All of sudden, I become aware of how a seemingly unruly noise now appears to me as a something pristine and precise – a bludgeoning machine gun whose rapid-fire now sings to me in its equidistant rhythms, its immaculately quantised, algorithmically assured symmetry.