To be completely honest with you, I’ve never tripped on acid before. However, after listening to The Striped Bananas newest album ‘Lady Sunshine’, I can certainly say that the vibes I got from their music made me feel like I was spiraling down the rabbit hole on LSD. Each note was full of groovy, pulsating vibrations that made me want to dance around in a field full of poppies.
In our last review, Ryan mentioned that he couldn’t wrap his head around what genre The Striped Bananas fell into. Matter of fact, neither can I. I can’t say they fall into the folk, pop and rock genre either, but rather a genre of its own called “Indian Head Shop.” I was quite surprised to first hear their music in the residence of my small home in Pennsylvania, because I feel like this would be playing in some third world country gift shop.
However, just because it’s different doesn’t make it bad. In fact, I’d say it’s brilliant. Chantelle and Duncan’s vocals complement each other beautifully like two birds singing together as one. In their first track ‘Hymn to Sunshine’, Duncan strums away on the sitar which made me feel all loosy goosy, while Andrew kept a consistent beat on the kit. It was a great way to lure me into everything else they had to offer. Everyone’s talent in this band adulates very purely. There’s a clear and brisk sound in every song. As the album goes on, the beats get a little bit faster. The song ‘Black Velvet’ is one of my personal favorites, and just like the rest of their songs, the lyrics shout with truth, humor, and confusion. But who said a little confusion was a bad thing?
I really admire the rawness of each song too. Every track sounds like it was recorded nearly fifty years ago. They also have hints of The Doors and Jefferson Airplane. Not an overload of retro band sounds, just enough to pay respects to the legends of acid rock. Some new bands replicate iconic sounds from the earlier days way too much, but The Striped Bananas simply show a tribute to the past, and then infuse their unique style. If you can’t appreciate that…well, I think it’s time for you to leave.
One of the main things I picked up was the authentic hippy-ness of each song. It’s evident that Duncan, Chantelle and Andrew have all lived some sort of bona fide flower child lifestyle leading up to this, and I think that helped them with their sound and image. Some people can pull it off, others can’t. The Striped Bananas execute perfectly.
There’s also the fact that every song flows well into the next song. It’s one of those albums where it’s hard to go back at a later date to find a song that you liked, because each song blended so well together. This album is easily comparable to the beverage called “Green Machine” by Naked Juice. Inside the drink there’s apple, kiwi, banana, mango and pineapple. Each fruit blends well together. During each sip you tell yourself that you’re going to find a specific flavor, but after gulping it down, you can’t nail the fruit that you were thinking of on the head. Now I know that was a weird comparison, but the songs ‘Saint Senara’, ‘Wednesday Morning’, and ‘Black Velvet’ are pretty similar to the green machine juice. They are tracks four, five and six, and they blend together perfectly making an extra long song that was enjoyable.
Overall…this band rules. They killed it on every level. From their image to their sounds- The Striped Banana are on a road to success. They’re a band to be looking out for in the future, and one to continue listening to for a long time.