May 21, 1996
Skin Graft Records

Album Review

Beware: Scratch or Stitch is the sort of Japanese noise rock that could prove highly unsettling. Imagine rampaging drums, guitars even more gnarled and noisy than those on Sonic Youth's Dirty, a female vocalist screeching in monotone, and bass a funk metal band could be proud of, and you're about halfway there. This may sound like a racket -- and it is -- but it's such a tight, organized, and intense racket that you can't help but be awed by it; the band tears through 22 brief songs without ever leaving highest gear, and the production assistance from Steve Albini and Jim O'Rourke really capture the insane energy of the group. (And trust me -- the "insane energy" you may imagine while reading this is nowhere close to what you'd hear on the album.) It's hard to imagine anyone sitting down and listening to this album in its entirety, but that certainly doesn't mean it's not good -- the thrill here is the same sort that comes from the Boredoms' more ridiculous romps and the cascades of noise Merzbow passes off as albums. Among Western audiences, Melt Banana requires a very unique type of listener -- they're a very unique sort of band.
Nitsuh Abebe, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Plot in a Pot
  2. Scratch or Stitch
  3. Sick Zip Everywhere
  4. Disposable Weathercock
  5. Ten Dollars a Pile
  6. Ketchup-Mess
  7. Buzzer #P
  8. Rough Dogs Have Bumps
  9. Iguana in Trouble
  10. It's in the Pillcase
  11. Test: Ground 1
  12. Zoo, No Vacancy
  13. A Finger to Hackle
  14. Type B for Me
  15. His Name Is Mickey (At Last She Got Him...)
  16. Back to the Womb
  17. I Hate It
  18. What Do You Slaughter Next?
  19. Eye-Q Trader
  20. Dig Out!
  21. Contortion Out of Confusion
  22. Pigeons on My Eyes (Go to Bed!!!)
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