steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


Self-titled EP


Genre: instrumental rock, jazz

Montreal, QC

October 2009

Some of you may remember a band called Sweep The Leg Johnny. Fronted by a sax player, yet a math-rock band by definition, their career was marked by a trail of dynamic and progressive albums that still hold their own today. Certainly, Sweep the Leg Johnny wasn't the only band to mesh rock music with the odd jazzy time signature, nor are Bananafish among a particularly select few to fuse jazz with instrumental rock. But they do it well.

Compared to Sweep the Leg Johnny, this sextet is far more jazz-oriented, culling significant influence from the fusion-heavy progressive rock of the seventies. Their compositions are entirely instrumental yet remarkably infectious, something that's most evident on anthemic "Starquasia," which the band paints mellow by way of twinkly guitar chords and smooth horns. Opener "Shady Lane," which has little in common with the homonymous Pavement song, is a more rock-heavy performance - reverberating guitar solos and sax melodies are layered over a wiggly groove to saucy effect. Closing track "Osteoferocious" is also worthy of mention, with its breezy alto sax flourishes providing a wistful prettiness to the piece.

Bananafish's six performers are a talented bunch, and these infectious compositions are undoubtedly the work of many a loose-ended jam session. Well recorded and well executed, this EP is an impressive step forward for this young band. The next challenge will be the debut album.

bananafish's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2009]