Record Review: Black Bananas

Black Bananas

Rad Times Xpress IV

Washington, D.C.

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“A beautiful haze of acid drenched noise”

It wouldn’t be fair to call Black Banana’s sound a melting pot.  It’s a junkyard.  On Rad Times Xpress IV, scraps of punk, glam, drunken ’70s rock swagger, post-punk dance, electronica, and even shards of ’80s pop-metal, saxophones, and auto-tune all crash together through a beautiful haze of acid drenched noise.

Black Bananas, for all intents and purposes, is RTX: Jennifer Herrema’s band culled from the ashes of influential noise-rockers Royal Trux.  In fact, the lineup is entirely the same as RTX.  The name change is more a further distancing from the Royal Trux moniker than any shift in musical direction.

However, while there’s no shift in her direction, Herrera’s vision is at its most precise.  That’s not to say it’s focused – in fact it is marvelously unfocused – bouncing around in the chaos of her own influences and aspirations.  Whereas many noise-rock influenced bands occasionally stumble upon great rock purely as a byproduct of throwing so much sound on top itself in the first place, Herrema has been around long enough to know how to craft that greatness rather than find it.  And once your brain settles around the cacophony of Rad Times Express IV, there is an audacious and challenging beauty threaded throughout the album from start to finish.  (Drag City Records)

Produced by Jennifer Herrema

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