Live at Perkins' Palace
Banyan is a mix brought to life by Stephen Perkins of Janes’ Addiction and Nels Cline of Wilco and accentuated by the captivating trumpet of Willie Waldman and ex-Minutemen, Mike Watt’s frontal bass. Together they all produce a fusion that delivers sounds that dip in and out of history while delivering an intriguing string of songs that will have you drenched when it’s over.
“A Million Little Laughs” brings to mind a drugged-out backdrop of Eno and Byrne’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts but with a screeching and squealing guitars overlay. To bring Banyan’s modus operandi into perspective, it may serve the reader well to note that although this album’s energy level is in the red, their influences are literal grab bags of early 80s experimental with feet mired in 50s jazz and 70s jazz-fusion while mainlining rock into the whole of it. Now THAT’s a rush.
Beginning the set is a funky tune, “Mad As a Hornet” which is followed by “Oh My People”, whose trumpet reminds one of Chicago (the band) thereby giving the song itself a slight, chaotically tinged Chicago (again, the band) feel. “Om Om Om” begins with a melancholy trumpet that runs through a psychotic display of guitar, bass, and drums and occasionally slit with spaces of contemplated sadness. “El Sexxo” blends Middle Eastern flavours with the rest of the album producing a mishmash of styles better left to your exploration. If Red Bull is your drink of choice and you like a frenzied brand of jazz-rock fusion in an experimental vein, Banyan is your band.