Sometimes we’re a bit slow on the uptake but you can’t listen to everything, right? Bananagun’s 3 track 7″, ‘Do Yeah’ completely passed us by back in November. So did their debut album, which made Rough Trade’s albums of the year list… So this is a case of better late than never.
Bananagun are a five piece from Melbourne. The city that just keeps on giving. Like contemporaries Parsnip they have a clear retro affinity, however that’s where any similarity ends. Bananagun take in influences from afrobeat and jazz funk to 60s tropicalia and psychedelic music. What’s more, they project it out with incredible authenticity.
The title track ‘Do Yeah’ sits in a magical space between Os Mutantes and Yamasuki, with its fuzzed out guitar hooks and dazzling group vocals. You can feel the flower power oozing out of every pore of this lively party anthem.
Apparently it wound its way onto a certain football game soundtrack.
Clearly there’s someone in the know at Konami!
‘Top Cat’ is more on the 60s garage side. The production is incredible. It literally sounds like it was recorded at Philips Studios in 1967. The thin junky percussion, slightly out of tune acoustic guitar and wonderful wah are playful and melodically exciting. They close it off with the wonderful ‘Crane In The Tiger’s Mouth’. The flutes, the 5/4 time signature and “ba ba ba” backing vocals make for a fabulous combination. The verses melodically recall Of Montreal while the instrumental has a Sesame Street like joy.
Their debut album ‘The True Story Of Bananagun’ released back in June is also quite remarkable. Had we heard it last year it may have featured quite high in our albums of the year list. It’s more lively than the 7”, with a greater leaning towards the afrobeat sound. There are 7 minute long groove fest wig outs (People Talk Too Much) and an abundance of great pop melodies. Pina Colada drinking music perfect for the upcoming upturn in weather! As the late to the party Limmy would say, it’s the sound of the summer.
A band you can sense could easily turn their hands to anything, we’ll be paying very close attention to Bananagun from now on. Fortunately we can, with the band embarking on a UK tour in October! Given the venues they’re playing, they’re clearly already picking up quite the following.
Full tour dates:
Hare & Hounds – Venue 2
Hyde Park Book Club
The Cluny 2
Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Rough Trade – Bristol
You may enjoy this if you like: King Lagoon’s Flying Swordfish Dance Band, Fela Kuti, Os Mutantes, Order Of The Toad