Drawing from “the wells” of the past can be a good or bad thing. If musical artists merely “regurgitate” an old genre for a modern audience it can be almost as boring as syphoning the latest craze from recent popular bands. Know that The Striped Bananas is a band that does much more than re-process 60s and 70s psychedelia.
Granted, if you can “dig” bands like Eric Burden and the Animals, Iron Butterfly, or even The Doors, you’ll probably have an immediate connection with the Bananas. However, this self-titled album takes you on many more “trips” than that. The opening track, ‘Broken Wings’, starts off leading one to wonder exactly how to classify their sound. There’s a certain under-produced, almost “garage” minimalism to their approach that draws from the past but rearranges your preconceptions of what a psychedelic song “should” sound like. For lack of a better definition, I’m going to refer to this as “psychedelic indie” music.
This is definitely a good thing. In fact, one of my favorite songs on the album ‘Lady Lazarus’ could almost pass as a “punk” number. Also, Chantelle Lussier’s female vocal performance throughout compliments Duncan Shephard’s deep, occasionally almost Morrison-like voice in such a way, that one wonders if the Doors might have added a girl to their band and gone in this artistic direction if they were still around in 1979. The final lazy, meditative, pensive song “Our Life Flows” leaves one hoping this band will keep the “flow” of over the edge exploration going long after the release of this strong debut effort.
By all means, check it out – and take the “trip” with the Striped Bananas at:
-review by Francis H. of Indie Band Guru