Bananagun, formed by vocalist, guitarist and flutist Nick van Backel, is a welcome relief. Hailing from Melbourne, this troupe of talented musicians has created an album that brings a heavy dose of the ’60s and ’70s afrobeat to your eardrums. Their new album, The True Story of Bananagun is an antidote for the times mixing hysterical beats and eclectic jazz vibes to create a carefree album that is anything but lazy. For a first trip into the musical sphere, the album is carefully curated with tracks ranging from flower-pop to tropicalia and proves just how talented this bunch of musicians really are.
Slowly merging into existence, “People Talk Too Much” rises into the musical plane with a light and roaming snare drum that explodes into Bananagun’s first trip into Afrobeat. While it is a new track, there is something authentic and old about it. This may be down to its composition or maybe it’s down to the musicians, maybe even both. But what is for certain is the movement of this track. On a few occasions, it sounds repetitive but it never sounds boring or overcooked. It simmers away, letting the percussion blend in with the soft bright guitar and tops it off with an energy that sounds almost like it has been performed live.
If “People Talk Too Much” is a slow burner, then “Out of Reach” is rocket fuel. Jazzy flute and vocals launch us into a track that seems to balance energy and chill perfectly. The horn section blends into the background while the vocals and glistening guitar take the fore, creating an electric track that is definitely the best track on the album.
A mention must also be given to “The Master”. A ’60s inspired track with syncopated rhythm guitar that grabs your attention is calmed down by subdued vocals that float above the music in hazy energetic psychedelia. This track is a testament to Bananagun’s musical ability and their power to envisage the future of the genre.
The True Story of Bananagun is fearless. It takes on a genre that is associated with so many iconic bands and slaps Bananagun’s musical stamp all over it, getting it right on the first attempt. It’s a colorful and vibrant album that brings psychedelia and proto-garage rhythm together to create an album that is the sound of the summer.