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Cactuses Come In Flocks , 6/10
Speak Squeak Creak , 6/10
Scratch Or Stitch , 7/10
Charlie , 6/10
Teeny Shiny , 6/10
Cell-scape (2003) , 5/10
Bambi's Dilemma (2007) , 5/10
Fetch (2013), 6/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Melt-Banana, led by shrieking vocalist Yasuko Onuki (who matches Poly Styrene's proverbial hysteria) and Ichiro Agata (a guitarist who recalls Arto Lindsay in DNA), play fast-paced "noise-core" that mixes the speed of hardcore and the cacophony of industrial music.

The cassette Cactuses COme In FLocks (Chocolate Monk, 1994 - A-Zap, 1999) presents short, spastic, atonal, minimalist outbursts that are reminiscent of the old "no-wave". The 24-track 30-minute album Speak Squeak Creak (Nux, 1994 - Charnel, 1995 - A-zap, 2001) shows musical improvement only in that one can recognize nods to free jazz, math-rock and speed-metal, as in a cross between God Is My Co-pilot and Napalm Death.

The "estranged" pop of It's In The Pillcase (Skin Graft) introduced the stoical nonsense of Scratch Or Stitch (Nux, 1995 - Skin Graft, 1996), particularly Eye-Q Trader, Disposable Weathercock, Ten Dollars A Pile, Iguana In Trouble, Rough Dogs Have Bumps, Contortion Out Of Confusion.

Following the EP Wedge (Slap A Ham, 1997), the band released what remains their most conceptual album, for better and for worse: Charlie (A-Zap, 1998). Befriended by the New York and Chicago avantgarde, the Japanese forget their identities and assume the personas of experimental composers. The noise and the frenzy in songs like Spathic is tempered by excessive self-awareness.

The live MxBx (Tzadik, 1999) works well as an anthology of their reckless career.

The mini-album Teeny Shiny (A-Zap, 2000) could be their most frantic work.

Three Studies For A Crucifixion (Passacaglia, 2001) is a split album that contains six more Melt Banana hardcore missiles.

The EP 666 (Level Plane, 2003) has some of their most accessible songs.

Cell-scape (A-Zap, 2003) presents` a more accessible version of the band, despite the thundering and sputtering Phantasmagoria and the usual abrasive mess of folk-jazz-metal-punk jamming (Key is A Fact That A Cat Brings, Like A White Bat in A Box Dead Matters Go On, Shield For Your Eyes A Beast in the Well on Your Hand).

Melt Banana's former drummer Toshiaki Sudoh formed Machine And The Synergetic Nuts with keyboardist Noriya Iwata. They released the all-instrumental Machine And The Synergetic Nuts (Alibaba, 2003) and Leap Second Neutral (Alibaba, 2003).

13 Hedgehogs (A-Zap, 2005) collects the singles from 1994 to 1999: Hedgehog, It's In The Pillcase, Untitled (Piano One), Eleventh and Dead Spex, as well as rarities.

Bambi's Dilemma (A-Zap, 2007) marked a surprising rediscovery of melody (although still drenched in their trademark chaos).

Agata debuted solo with Spike (Tzadik, 2004), a collection of 25 instrumental miniatures.

Melt-Banana's Fetch (2013) lives up to the standards of their early albums. Candy Gun is one of their most exhilarating songs, combining witchy shriek, distorted guitar, gallopping rhythm and alien synth noises. Their romps include the Ministry-grade thrash-punk of The Hive and one minute of epileptic rock'n'roll in Vertigo Game. There is demented Ramones-esque exuberance in Left Dog and the guitar inferno of Infection Defective. They even attemp to captivate the dancefloor with Zero. Unfortunately the songs soon become repetitive and less amusing. This should have been a six-song EP.

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