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Boomkat Product Review:
Charlie was Melt Banana's 3rd album and the first to be released on their own A-Zap imprint. The album marks quite a departure in the band's sound, with longer, and dare I say it, more accessible songs than on their previous recordings. The recording is characterised by a heavier electronic presence. Just listen to the barroom brawl that is 'Spathic!', the track melds the band's playfully aggressive guitar riffing with a verse part constituted largely by layered samples of breaking glass as the primary accompaniment to Yasuko's voice. As a mark of how far the groups sound had moved into more listenable terrain, the opening riff to 'Tapir's Flown Away' sounds not a million miles away from Arctic Monkeys' 'Brianstorm'. The track stands as a comparatively comprehensible piece of punk rock riffing. Mike Patton puts in an appearance for the vocal collage 'Area 877 (Phoenix Mix)' and sounds almost exactly like the Tasmanian Devil in so doing. This, of course, fits the bill perfectly and sets up the cut and paste speed metal of 'Giggle On The Stretcher' and 'Section Eight'. An undoubted highlight in the catalogue of an inimitable band, Charlie is mind bendingly ferocious and monstrously good fun to boot.