Like Goat before them, Bananagun are fusing the past to create a hybrid sound for the future. Inspired by the beats that drove him as an instrumental producer, Nick van Bakel makes the next logical step in reproducing the sounds he was always searching for. The True Story of Bananagun takes the portal back to the ‘60s but lets Cumbia and Trorpicalia bleed into Highlife and psychedelic funk. Polyrhythms flare while the guitars tie knots around fuzz-freaked passages. Vibrant colors are the only palette the band seems to trade in — augmenting tracks with horns alongside the saccharine harmonies of ’60s beat groups and buried garage throwaways. Van Bakel has assembled a mutable squad of players that chop and chew their influences into a stew that’s as catchy as it is colorful.
Playing on the tip-of-the-tongue familiarity, the songs feel like they may have filtered through your life at one time or another – Fela’s bounce, Os Mutantes’ skittered humor, Sergio Mendes’ breeziness, The Funkees heaviness, and the kaleidoscopic appeal of The Deviants and Ultimate Spinach all seem to raise their heads. Time and YouTube have removed much of the compartmentalization of the past, melting together eras and influences into stained glass curios with heroes sharing the picture with unknowns. Seems like Bananagun have a bookshelf full of these mix n’ match tchotchkes and they’re bringing the stories to life through the speakers. This one has an outdoor air to it, and even with a separated summer, this feels like the the best accompaniment to verdant scenery seen from the car window with this one turned up a bit too loud.
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