Monday, April 5, 2010

Woo-Man and the Banana

Peel (Self Released, 03.2010)

For: The Stooges, Death, Destroy All Monsters

Byline: blistering garage rock from a guy in a pink wig and dress and another dude in a banana suit, what else is there to explain?

Editors Note: As no artwork is available for Peel, Crawford has created this adorable baby-monkey suit with a banana on its head. Uh, yeah.

This years best SXSW find (uncovered by Crawf on his week long pilgrimage) wasn't found in an AT&T sponsored pavilion, or hot after party in the sweltering heat of the years biggest capitalist/new-media orgy. They were discovered outside a car wash in a pink wig and dress/bananna suit playing blistering garage rock to whoever would stop and listen. Totally Punk rock. Crawford wanted to write this up, but I stole the review in a brilliant coup d'etat. Also, punk rock (or cut-throat capitalism?). After several weeks of laborious electronic albums (the new Autechre later this week) Woo-Man and the Bannana's scuzzed-out, sweat-stained, blues-drenched garage rock sounds like it is being pounded out from a nicotine-yellowed next-door living room. A much welcome reprieve. If you have already scrolled down to the bottom of this review you have already uncovered the obvious. The band is comprised of a dude wearing a pink wig and a dress on guitar and another guy in a banana suit playing drums. Pretty straight forward right? Or horribly convoluted Freudian subtext? For whatever psycho-sexual hang-ups may be present in their appearance, the musical output of this duo is nothing to mess with. Taking cues from fellow midwesterners The Deja-Vu era White Stripes, WMTB strip rock and roll down to the brass tacks. Woo-Man tackles the muscular, chopped-up blues lines and rhythm leads while The Banana's rolling bass-drums often resemble Scott Asheton's gunpowder filled bass hits. While decidedly lo-fi, the duo's recording sounds lo-fi as an economic necessity rather than an aesthetic choice. The barb-wire layers of harsh analog noise that buried the output of many worthy pop bands over the last couple years are totally absent allowing The Banana's drums to have a three-dimensional quality, instead of sounding like the pap-pap-pap, cardboard box sound ubiquitous to most lo-fi outfits. Woo-Man's voice is often found in the upper-register (duh) while The Banana's almost comically deep voice makes an appearance on "Duck Down". Woo-Man's guitar work takes kamikaze dive bombs in the EP closer "What Goes On" an explode into a sea of reverby greatness. For what it is, Woo-Man and the Banana play totally palate cleansing garage-rock that wash away any memory of pretense. And Crawford didn't think I could write a rock and roll review. Pshh. Just wait until I cover the new Daughters album.

Ryan H.

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