As I’ve already mentioned elsewhere, Melt Banana won 2013 for me with this short, sweet thirty-minute rocket of an album. The group, now a duo, are able to use the newly electronic rhythm section to expand their blizzard of beats, effects and feedback into new territories and that freedom is apparent in the range of ideas they manage to incorporate into the otherwise limited form of the two-minute punk song. That Melt Banana are able to find anything new to say in the form after so many years is testament to their tireless capacity for invention and reinvention, their mastery of composition and structure, and Agata’s total command over the exhaustive range of sounds he is able to wrestle out of his guitar.Melt Banana: The Hive
Of the descriptors most often thrown at Melt Banana, bubblegum and hardcore are often inextricably linked, and it’s important to remember that in amongst their blast beats and layers of guitar noise, extremely catchy, poppy melodies often lurk. Schemes of the Tails is striking every bit as much for its melody as for its rhythmical structure, and The Hive is a joyously fun punk-pop nugget. Much has been made of their decision to throw a curveball at the end by closing with the disco-punk Zero, but from the opening shoegaze chords of Candy Gun and running through the entire album there’s a willingness to play around and incorporate any styles, ideas and effects that sound good in service of the greater spazzy musical delight, which is why from start to finish, Fetch fills you with joy and excitement, and why it’s 2013’s album of the year.