Record Review: Banana Phonetic

Banana Phonetic
The Facts of Evolution
Allston, MA

“…or are you just happy to see me?”

Coming off their excellent 2010 debut EP, The Western End, Banana Phonetic is back with another 5-song taste with their strong follow-up release, The Facts of Evolution. With a name that sounds as much like an opening act for a Vanilla Fudge concert as it does for a 21st century indie rock band, Banana Phonetic’s sound is expectedly somewhat difficult to label.

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The quintet makes it a point that each song is a group creation.  Accordingly, there are often 5 different influences on each track, making for some entertaining comparisons.  There are hints of My Morning Jacket with Levon Helm drumming on “Manipulated Sun,” the Flaming Lips meeting Grateful Dead folk country on the title track, and My Morning Jacket with John Frusciante guitar runs on “Afterparty.”

This pervasive layering is Banana Phonetic’s greatest strength, but also its Achilles heel.  While they weave so many exciting ideas together, they tend to weave them together in the same way – so that from song to song, while the concepts change, the textures between them don’t.  That being said, Banana Phonetic is just brimming with potential and great song craft.  They put more thought into a single track than many bands do in an album.  They are certainly a group to pay attention to. (Self-released)

Produced by Banana Phonetic

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