There’s no chance to take stock of your surroundings, no gentle opener, before you’re thrown deep into the eclectic dimension of noise that Melt Yourself Down inhabit. From the very start you’ll be subjected to a kaleidoscopic aural hurricane of jazz funk punk from the boys on their self-titled album.
It’s when they’re at their most intense that the band at their best. When their breathless kinetic energy is in full flow there’s no stopping them and you can either get out their way or join in the party, I suggest the latter. Album opener ‘Fix Yourself’ is the first and greatest example of this, baptising you in a rain of fiery sax whilst drums thump away at your bones in an effort to shake them loose.
‘Release’ dials down the intensity but turns up the pace with a frenetic space age bop. And not unlike ‘Fix Yourself’, which conjures up images of a brass band playing an underground nightclub in tel-aviv whilst the walls shake, ‘tuna’ transports you to a Turkish market whilst ska-punk is blasted from the minarets of Istanbul.
The closest the band ever come to conventional single material comes courtesy of ‘We Are Enough’, albeit with sizeable jazz influences looming large over proceedings, but without transforming the song into any iteration of ska-punk. It’s a refreshing mix that highlights the band’s skill in songwriting and proves you don’t need to be smashing down walls to get people pumped up, you just need some well placed bongos and a sax or two.
And then moments later they prove that they can go completely traditional with ‘Kingdom Of Kush’, a spiraling and tumultuous frenzy that could easily pass for an Israeli folk song. That is, if it wasn’t for the band’s unique twist on the theme that morphs it more in to a sort of Israeli bop-punk that will have you happily choosing to have a Mauritian man screeching indecipherable lyrics over intertwining saxophones into your ear.
Unfortunately ‘Free Walk’ and ‘Mouth To Mouth’ are rather forgettable, with the band deciding to mellow down the town just a little bit. And whilst the former is successful in it’s super smooth nature, these won’t be the tracks you remember this album for in the slightest. A theme that unfortunately is shared with album finale ‘Camel’.
So maybe this album doesn’t have the stamina to make it through to the end with the same ferocity that it first inspired, but it’s ability to magic you away on a psychedelic carpet ride across the Middle East to West Africa is an experience you’ll have a hard time trying to match.
By Mikey Rush