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Melt Yourself Down
100% Yes Cal Cashin , April 14th, 2020 07:58

Melt Yourself Down's third album, 100% Yes, provides an antidote for Cal Cashin's creeping lethargy

In times like these, it can be all too easy to lose yourself to lethargy. To squalor in the dreary boredom that comes with isolation is inevitable, and to choose a soundtrack that lingers in the same lazing sphere is a logical step. My default state is vegetative. Daily exercise, my arse. A walk to the shop for more baccy, maybe. Every day is like yesterday, and for a good few weeks now, every bit of living has been pushed back until tomorrow. Something’s got to give, yes?

It would be a bare-faced lie to say that 100% YES has cured the lethargy, but it's as pertinent an antidote as you’ll find in mp3 format. The mutant jazz six-piece’s new record is the album of tomorrow, a real cold bath of a disc. Peter Wareham and Kush Gaya’s third full length is one of the most fun and instantly gratifying albums of the year: swaggering and sweltering pop tunes are so well complimented by the snazz of Wareham’s sax.

Opener ‘Boot and Spleen’ excavates thee from thine boredom-induced coma with a lightning brass motif, and from there we never look back. It’s a rickety garage rock tune, inspired further by falsetto backing vocals and frenzied jazz meltdowns that shake to the core. Just as Sons of Kemet (of whom Melt Yourself Down have previously shared members) did on 2018’s epochal ‘Your Queen Is A Reptile’, the band combine virtuistic sax with beefy drums in a winning, highly danceable combination.

On 100% YES, Melt Yourself Down bring to the forefront the added influence of North African music, combining it with the band’s existing danger-jazz and occasional punk leanings. The title track is the best example of this, an alchemic mix of terse drum cycles, paranoia basslines and swamping trills of Wareham’s sax. It drives ferociously onwards with a real healthy lack of self-consciousnesses; synth bleeps, heady saxophone and vocal samples; every little experiment comes off.

Like London contemporaries Nubiyan Twist, Melt Yourself Down combine a pan-global cannon of jazz, afrobeat, and western pop to arrive at a truly thrilling kind of party music. Some parts may be garish, others recall the Klaxons a tad too potently, and some moments are more forgettable than others, but in essence 100% YES is the purest of escapist experiences. The most fun you can have without taking your daily exercise.

It’s not to say there’s a lack of real world awareness to their work (Gaya’s words are great, and the lyrics are informed by “political restlessness”), but that is simply not the point here. Instead, it is a transportative sojourn to a much more optimistic and lively world than our own. This album is the most joyful, and therefore best, new companion I’ve discovered throughout the lockdown period; party on, Melt Yourself Down.

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