Melt Banana/Hot Cross/Breather Resist - live in Pittsburgh (Cover Artwork)

Melt Banana / Hot Cross / Breather Resist

Melt Banana/Hot Cross/Breather Resist: live in Pittsburghlive in Pittsburgh (2005)
International News

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The show took place in a quaint art gallery, a small theater with some raised seats and a main floor in front of the stage, which made for some in-between set comfort. Despite some mixing problems, the acoustics worked well for the diverse range of bands playing that night. Conelrad, a two-piece,.

The show took place in a quaint art gallery, a small theater with some raised seats and a main floor in front of the stage, which made for some in-between set comfort. Despite some mixing problems, the acoustics worked well for the diverse range of bands playing that night.

Conelrad, a two-piece, guitar'n'drum duo, opened the show, and seemingly dodged genre labeling with every bar. While the guitarist alternated between metal soloing, tech riffs and effects pedal maniuplation as he would occasionally sing in one version of Mike Patton's personality, the drummer would abruptly play spastic and/or grind fills, and scream/sing/mutter into the mic beside him. It was more cohesive than it sounds and a fair aesthetic to get interest rolling.

Set List [from the paper]:

  • Horror
  • Thanatonic
  • Gin
  • Burdizzo
  • BODY
  • FEAR
  • Mr
  • Taepodons
  • Mania
Breather Resist took the stage next. My initial interest in the band had materialized after hearing last year's split with Suicide Note. It was the band's first night on the tour and already they had a small bit of trouble getting, at least, the visual portion of their set across. They requested for the lights to be shut off, but the one venue crew person on hand and in person at the time insisted he didn't know how. This didn't fare too well for the blinding stage lights, embedded in two respective amps at the ends of the stage, which were supposed to be a "surprise" when the band would begin to play. Luckily, the band did manage to convey their sound just fine, that being atmospheric hardcore/metal, usually contained in penetrating guitars and a wall-of-sound backdrop. The more light plucking moments from the guitarist made for interesting moments. The singer's on-stage movement was rather predictable and patterned though, as he would either come towards the left-center, front part of the stage to shake, or stalk near the front of the drums and lean over diagonally, facing the right end of the stage to scream into the mic. The set, flowed, certainly, but more in the sense that all the songs were pretty similar-sounding.

Surprisingly, Hot Cross followed. The last time I'd saw the band, they were opening for Fear Before The March Of Flames, and the set was a bit marred by the band's apparent technique of not replicating ANY of the backup vocals found on their studio recordings. So while I began to think that perhaps they'd learned the set would be more complete with the inclusion of them, Billy Werner, with only three other band members behind him, told the crowd they'd be playing without a guitarist that night (he might've had a reasonable explanation, but if so, I didn't catch it). In spots, the sound was slightly awkward, but the band still played a real solid set, and at least sang the first part of "Eastern Standard Time of the dead!" in "Fortune Teller." The one sole guitarist was just as incredibly accurate on his leads as he was the aforementioned show, and was easily the most energetic of the quartet; you could tell he was having fun, and it made the set that much better. After Billy talked about and criticized the widespread misogynic attitudes present in whichever scene he was referring to, the band played their newest song, "Tacoma," which is set to appear on a charity compilation later this year. For anyone appreciative of the amazing progression the band has gone through in their four albums, "Tacoma" will be, in the least, pretty enjoyable, as it's got dynamic tempo/pace changes, raw ...Lungs-esque takes and a spectacular, clean guitar lead ¡ la "Better A Corpse Than A Nun." The band did a fine job with "Putting The Past Right," "Throw Collars To The Wind," "Finger Redux," and "Lend Me Your Brain (I'm Building An Idiot)" as well.

Set List [from the paper]:
  • ------------------
Now, I don't quite remember who was who, but three older-looking, very out-of-place gentleman then took the stage by the names of Ligeti, Gebbia, and Pupillo. The trio consisted of a left stage saxophonist, center stage drummer, and right stage bassist. The drummer introduced himself as from Philadelphia, and that he would be collaborating that night with the two Italian men on both sides of him. What they proceeded to play could be very poorly described as a completely fucked up noise/jazz/experimental/funk hybrid that made little-to-no-sense whatsoever. The band, vocal-less, seemingly played whatever they felt like. The bassist, in particular, played with this unrelenting, frustrated expression on his face like he was looking for a sound that he just couldn't find. At one point, he was stretching the top string behind the guitar neck to produce a sound when he impulsively grabbed his beer bottle, resting on the amp behind him, and started scratching the bottle against the rest of the strings. He quite literally loosened up that top string as a result. This was occurring as the drummer would be banging a bell and letting it ring against the snare, or as the saxophonist would be making blunt blowing noises into his mouthpiece that sounded like African wildlife mating calls. The only vague comparison I could make is ZZZZ's most bizzarre brainstorming sessions. It was pretty interesting for the first 15 minutes, though it seemed to run a bit long. The three gentleman received a rather rousing ovation though, and seemed to mostly fit in that night.

If anyone could follow it up, though, it was Melt Banana. Though the vocals were pretty low for most of the set, you could tell that vocalist Yasuko O.'s trademark...whatever you would call it, was reproduced live just the same as on record. And boy, did the crowd eat it up; I wasn't sure that moshing to grind was possible, but it was definitely taking place behind me, and in a very uP the pUnx manner. Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the set was, and how well the band was translating live; their sound flowed extremely well, and O. was rather charming with her broken English. Midway through one song, she brought her furry hippack to her front waist, and started taking out small photograph/mini-postcard type-things, and handing them to the crowd one at a time. At one point in the set, O. said the band would play 10 short songs, and they proceeded to do just that: play 3-8 second-long songs, with short pauses in between only to introduce the titles. They also played a vaguely familiar cover but I couldn't totally place it. Free of a previous personal bias against or for the band, the hour-long set was a treat and capped off the night well.

Set List:
Click here

Pictures from the show, by Meg Reinecker


People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldRosetta - A Determinism of MoralityThe Ataris - So Long, AstoriaBigwig - Unmerry MelodiesFairweather - LusitaniaBandits of the Acoustic Revolution - A Call to Arms5¢ Deposit - We Have Your Daughter!Scraps and Heart Attacks - Still SickNo Trigger - The World Is Not A StageCapdown - Pound for the Sound

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (May 1, 2005)

xmeepx sounds like a trash talking seventh grader

Anonymous (May 1, 2005)

mxpx is kinda gay

XmeepX (May 1, 2005)

you are gay?

Anonymous (May 1, 2005)

is it funny because melt banana has about 100 times more talent than mxpx, yet mxpx is still six trillion times better?

No, it's funny 'cause you're probably daft enough to believe what you just typed. Grow up. No one cares to read that drivel anyway; we can form our own opinions.

A-ny-way... for the non-inane crowd, PM had an interesting article to the same effect as this one. Except, you know, no dumbass posts following it. (I still love you, PunkNews!)
http://popmatters.com/music/concerts/m/melt-banana-05 0415.shtml
Might be worth a look if you're into that sort of thing.

XmeepX (May 1, 2005)

is it funny because melt banana has about 100 times more talent than mxpx, yet mxpx is still six trillion times better?

backupdork (April 29, 2005)

i was at this show. Melt Banana's performance was one of the best i've ever seen. i missed most of Breather Resist, but from what i DID see, i didn't miss much. bummer, though. they were pretty good the first time i saw them. the trio that played this show was nearly unbearable, but the drummer was super talented.

kenfuggit (April 29, 2005)

so here is a funny story I heard:

When Melt Banana toured in 2002, they had Dave Witte on drums. An anonymous aquaintance of mine heard one of his friends mention at the show that "melt banana's drummer looks like the guy from Mxpx". This kid then went up to Dave Witte after the show and asked Dave Witte, god of grind drumming, if he was in mxpx. Dave laughed at the kid and replied, "No."

Now THAT is funny.

Anonymous (April 29, 2005)

this was all meg.

Anonymous (April 29, 2005)

>>Ar... ar...ar... art fags.

Do you always studder when you type or are you just fucking retarded?

Anonymous (April 29, 2005)

Ar... ar...ar... art fags.

bannedinct (April 29, 2005)

Melt-Banana... such a good band... did anyone else notice their midget bass player?

Anonymous (April 29, 2005)

i'll be seeing melt banana in one week! ..i'm stoked, as i should be.

Bosco (April 29, 2005)

I saw this show at the Bug Jar in Rochester NY, it was quite possibly the best show I've ever seen. I went for Hot Cross (aparrently my friend and I were the only ones, because no one else did anything for them),and had no idea what to expect from Melt Banana, but dear god I was a believer by the end.

And damn you for getting Finger Redux, I went hoping to hear at least that or Born on the Cusp and I got neither.

Anonymous (April 29, 2005)

i was gonna go to this show in cleveland the other day, but it was too fuckin expensive.

stayontarget (April 29, 2005)

The cover was very likely "Uncontrollable Urge" by Devo. My friend went to the show the night before and it was played then.

Anonymous (April 29, 2005)

"wow...two of these bands actually have ok names
- jones the bones"

Thank god we've come to reunite ourselves with an appreciation for superficialities in music! I was worried- I nearly thought we had sunk to regarding music in strict correspondence with it's aesthetic and melodic values. *Phew~
Thanks, Jones, for sticking your neck out for the petty causes. Truly a cultural crusader.

...Oh, and I liked the review. The setlist picture was a nice touch as well.

Anonymous (April 29, 2005)

Just saw them in Columbus. They played in a similiar fashion, with her handing out pictures, and playing ten short songs.

Anyway, they fucking ripped. Just flat out incredible. Their guitarist is my new hero. Fuck my dad. He doesn't even play catch with me anymore.

Kenjamin (April 29, 2005)

Score is for bands from Japan.

Kenjamin (April 29, 2005)

Hot Cross is always sloppy live and the dude from Breather Resist installed lights in his two 8x10 cabinets I believe and that's why he wanted the stage lights off.

Anonymous (April 29, 2005)

How was Dave Witte?

Archangel (April 29, 2005)

Score is for the review. Very well-written.

And Hot Cross. Great band.

stevejonestherealbones (April 29, 2005)

wow...two of these bands actually have ok names

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

ubershep (April 29, 2005)

Also, I miss the AMR logo.

ubershep (April 29, 2005)

When they came over to Seattle, the show was 21 . Fuck 'em.

kirbypuckett (April 29, 2005)

That's right, I went to Motion City Soundtrack instead of this and was surrounded by 14 year olds...but what are you gonna do about it?


Here's pictures of the Explosion, The Loves Ones, Voice In the Wire, & THROW RAG that took place the following evening:

http://photobucket.com/albums/v292/kirbypuckett/Explo sion - Loved Ones - Throw Rag - VITW/

- Kirby

TheOneTrueBill (April 29, 2005)

Hahah, I like how you did the "PU" thing. Extremely clever.

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