In a recent interview vocalist Yasuko described her band's sound as "machine guns and laser beams fighting each other," but for all of Melt Banana's slice-and-dice freakiness they clearly possess a love for early '80s American punk. Black Flag and Minutemen figure equally with Boredoms and John Zorn in MB's insanely hard rocking take on Japanese thrash. Guitarist Agata keeps the chaos from becoming static with an infinite amount of energy and ideas - jumping from DJ scratch sounds, hardcore powerchording, delay regeneration feedback, and pre-recorded samples in seconds flat. Although the band must be experienced in-person to be fully appreciated, this finely recorded disc does a good job in displaying the group's' unique talent. Engineered by Robert Musso (who cut his noise teeth in the '80s working with Last Exit, among others) live at Orange Studio, New Jersey, the music rips out of the speakers like an animated bunny wielding a glistening butcher's knife. (Tzadik, 61 East 8th St., Suite 126, New York, NY 10003)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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