BANANAS, THE: Don’t Go Toward the Light: LP

I want to say that this band reminds me of Dirt Bike Annie, although I can find no logical reason at all for doing so. They might remind me of Sicko, but with jazzier chords. I know for sure that if you listen to “East of Arden” with the covers pulled over your head it sounds like the Plugz, but I don’t know how helpful that is to you. I also know that the vast majority of these songs have some kind of slow, off-tempo part to them—either some manner of intricate introduction (before the punk kicks in), or some type of pause where it’s just the mournful wail of vocals and guitar—and that generally is a sign of a band who have either outgrown or are bored with the punk-sounding aspects of punk, and need to move on. Like, I really don’t know if squishing some of this material through the one-size-fits-all Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop® of punk is really doing these songs many favors. “Under the Gypsy Moon,” for instance, doesn’t seem to know if it wants to be a punk song or “I Will Dare.” Even reading the lyrics along with the songs (which is well worth your time) yields the impression that the words have been kind of forcibly smashed into the music. Call me a bald-faced heretic, but I’d be interested to hear what they sound like with some of the punk buffed out of them. If that sucks, forget I said anything. Still, a keeper. BEST SONG: “Gab Gar Mar.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I too have had my photo taken with the “Bronze Fonz” statue depicted on the back cover. –Rev. Nørb (Secret Center)