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Record Reviews
Bananas

Various Artists
Bananas

11 Track, LP (2012, Independent)
Related: Popolice, Lehmann B. Smith, Emma Russack, Justin K Fuller, Yuko Kono, Rohin Jones.


Captured over three nights at Melbourne’s Gasometer Hotel last December, Bananas is the latest idiosyncratic product from label/collective Why Don’t You Believe Me?. WDYBM hosted the residency and Bananas was later compiled by Alec Marshall, who plays guitar for Emma Russack. (He and Russack did the artwork here too.) Available as a CD-R or download, it sees a range of different voices and sounds coalesce into a snapshot of Australian music that’s glorious in the humblest way.

Whatever their would-be genre, the featured artists share a certain outsider vibe. Or at least, they seem to in this intimate, no-frills setting, where you can hear both the audience and the occasional flubs. Andre Vanderwert’s quartet Andre and Teeth & Tongue guitarist Marc Regueiro-McKelvie’s band Popolice each pursue noisy indie rock with a ’90s-wrought combination of breeziness and angst, but they represent just one corner of Bananas. Mia Schoen Group (credited as MSG) and Velcro likewise specialise in jangling indie pop sweetness, but even they don’t overlap too much.


Lehmann B. Smith - You Mean There's More That We're Yet To Burn by Why Don't You Believe Me?


Furthering the variety, Matthew Brown offers wispy drone with flecks of noise, while ZOND guitarist Justin K. Fuller’s opening ‘11/12/11 (excerpt)’ comprises skittering layers that feel like a moving distortion sculpture. And even if you classify Kes Band’s Lehmann B. Smith as a mere singer-songwriter, his fluctuating warble makes ‘You Mean There’s More That We’re Yet to Burn’ all too unearthly. Leading a full band, Emma Russack displays her customary lyrical finesse on the previously unreleased ‘You Shouldn’t’, while Sydney’s Quaoub inhabits bleak songwriter-isms.


Justin K Fuller - 11/12/11 (excerpt) by Why Don't You Believe Me?


In other words, even the songs limited to guitar and voice don’t sound like your usual pub fare. Yuko Kono from My Pal Foot Foot sings fluidly in Japanese and teases out twinging folk melodies on ‘Fragment’, and The Middle East’s Rohin Jones nears the stern phrasing of Bill Callahan on the closing ‘All My Friends at a Petrol Stop’. Like so much here, the latter seems tousled and unstudied, presented more for the benefit of the performer and his peers than for any mass audience.

by Doug Wallen

Related Artists


Your Comments

Jack.Riddle  said about 2 years ago:

Andre Rules!
This is cool.


MalikVerlag  said about 2 years ago:

Where can you get this? Doesn't look like its available on the WDYBM website yet. Anyone who releases JKF and Matthew Brown is doing somethig right.


alec m  said about 2 years ago:

Where can you get this? Doesn't look like its available on the WDYBM website yet. Anyone who releases JKF and Matthew Brown is doing somethig right.

It will be available to mailorder / download from wdybm.com sometime in the next week or two. I'll let everyone know when it's out. There's a facebook page as well. thanks!


Ash-showoff  said about 2 years ago:

Interesting little label. Nice work guys!


alec m  said about 2 years ago:

Hey it's out now!
http://wdybm.com
to order via paypal and see what else is happening
or
http://whydontyoubelieveme.bandcamp.com/album/bananas
for a more direct link to listen / mail-order / download
:-)


alec m  said about 2 years ago:

a little review from Bandcamp Hunter: ''A compilation of live recordings from acts on Melbourne label Why Don't You Believe me? and it's further confirmation that the local scene is powering along just fine, thank you very much. There's a great diversity of sounds on here-from lovely warped lo-fi to folk to experimental shoegaze to straight up rock and roll. The recording quality is fantastic for live recordings too.''

and here's another review


livingincanada  said about 2 years ago:

just bought a copy listening to my download now. great stuff alec!

JK track is killer.


alec m  said about 2 years ago:

Thank you. We're having a launch party at The Gasometer, March 22. The lineup so far is: Fatti Frances + Lehmann B. Smith (w/ full band) + Jonny Telafone + The Great Outdoors!


alec m  said about 2 years ago:

above lineup is slightly incorrect, here are the correct details:


alec m  said about 2 years ago:

This Thursday 7PM at the Gasometer we are launching this excellent cd. Please get there early to catch Rites Wild!


rosie  said about 2 years ago:

cool!


alec m  said about 2 years ago:

tonight :-)


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Tracklisting
  • 1.   Justin K Fuller - 11/12/11 (excerpt)
  • 2.   Lehmann B. Smith – You Mean There’s More That We’re Yet To Burn
  • 3.   MSG – Central Station
  • 4.   Quaoub – Choppingboard
  • 5.   Andre – Jess
  • 6.   Velcro – One Day
  • 7.   Emma Russack – You Shouldn’t
  • 8.   Yuko Kono - Fragment
  • 9.   Matthew Brown - Esconauba
  • 10.   Popolice – Green Screen
  • 11.   Rohin Jones – All My Friends at a Petrol Stop
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