Black Bananas - Electric Brick Wall - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Black Bananas - Electric Brick Wall

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2014-06-23

Free your mind and your ass will follow. Black Bananas loiter at the intersection of funk, noise-rock, metal, glam-core, disco and psychedelia. That’s a crowded intersection, and the aggregation of those styles seems at first confounding. 

The frontline assault of Black Bananas demands total immersion to their brand of superbly controlled party music. The band is Jennifer Herrema, formerly of Royal Trux and RTX, with Nadav Eisenman, Brian McKinley and Kurt Midness. 

These are ‘rad’ times say the band, and they’re having a ball mixing it up. Take ‘Physical Emotions’, with a bassline which sends waves of defibrillation into your body until you scream in gestaltist ecstasy. Its like a Tom Moulton mix for the 21st Century, or a Felix Da Housecat mix if he was downing squares instead of hearts. Also, think of the first time you danced to something off Prince’s Diamonds and Pearls

The ass-slappin’ glam romp of ‘Ride the Chump’ manages to be hilarious for ingeniously moulding hip hop and freak-out guitar. ‘Powder8 Eeeeeeeight’ has funked up, Bolan-influenced glam-core, spare though discordant and sustained guitar chords, and a minor space-rock finale. The electric boogie upgrade of 'Highway Down' with its trickle down guitar work is great fun. The blissed-out ‘Hey Rockin’ is surely a candidate for the crunchiest rock/ragga monster this side of 2013. 

Most of the tracks on the album come in under three minutes, so even those with attention deficit issues can keep their fingers off the shuffle button. In fact, the self-censorship on Electric Brick Wall is a mark of its ingenuity and skill. I just hope they can avoid the Levi's commercials.  

By the way, the reference to Funkadelic was deliberate. On the 1971 album Maggot Brain, guitarist Eddie Hazel’s febrile, mind-bending guitar solo on the title track was the very essence of hardcore psychedelia, and to some extent there are parallels in the experimentations on Electric Brick Wall. See ‘Dope on an Island’ and ‘Highway Down‘. I couldn’t see any reference to the Funkadelic influence in the hipster promo material, but you can throw darts in many different directions on Electric Brick Wall.

Black bananas. Get them into your mix-master now. 

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