Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
For some people, the music of Japanese grindcore band Melt-Banana is their meditation. Its flinty, bombastic wiliness is tamer than what they'd have in their heads otherwise. Nothing can beat their own chaos. No one can construct anything that could be more unruly or messier than all of the troubles and worries that have come to loiter between their ears, to gum up their circuits and choke out their clarity.
Yasuko Onuki sings in a way that you'd sing if you were being mauled. She sings in the way that you'd sing if you were being torn limb from limb and given the opportunity to watch yourself bleed out all of the blood that you'd contained. She sings the way you would sing if you saw just how black that blood had gotten, as dark as waste oil, drained from the bottom side of an automobile. She performs her splitting headaches. She points out that these are her demons talking, her demons brandishing their blades, her demons charming her with one final dance across the ballroom floor, startling her with the realization that they're her favorite partners sometimes, that the ugly blood that's been stored inside is too flavorful to be ignored.