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Nothing Wrong With Sprawling Out: Bananafish

Bananafish don’t intend to write music meant to soundtrack your next trip to Sandals – it just happens to be laid back enough to do just that. This trio, at least at first brush, lay down beach-resort grooves content to spend the day glued to a towel, sipping beer while watching the sunset. It’s not “I’m Yours” lame lazy, but chilled out enough to conjure up all sorts of leisure activities. “ハワイの彼女” seemingly sums up the group’s sound, the guitars treading especially slowly while the vocals fill up all the space left in the slacker’s wake. It could slide right in on Masaki Ueda’s cheesier recordings.

Then Bananafish spazz out just enough. The guitars pick up, distortion creeping into this postcard-pretty image, before the lead singer’s voice goes from the equivalent of a “life is good” beach ball to something panicked, nearing a shout. The second-half spazzing on “ハワイの彼女” show Bananafish might enjoy staring at the clouds, but they’ve got a lot else on their mind. Tracks like “メアリーはうわの空” and “Baby’s In Dream” don’t tilt to either extreme, instead imagining the scraggly indie-rock of OGRE YOU ASSHOLE as something you could veg out to. Yet this stuff isn’t a pure get-a-way – it hides a few jagged edges. Listen here.