(Decca Records. CD review by Nick Davies)
Melt Yourself Down return with their third album 100% Yes which is their first for Decca Records. The two earlier albums, both excellent, are indeed an indicator to this release being even greater. Expect 39 minutes of powerhouse, post-punk jazz influenced tunes that take you back in time but with a very modern twist. Every song here is a statement of contemporary British life: from Every Single Day which reflects on the toxicity of social media platforms, Born in the Manor, focusing on the Grenfell tragedy, to Crocodile, about the terrifying Russian drug Krokodil which reportedly melts people’s flesh. Each of the songs has been written by the band from a personal perspective and their experiences of life in Britain today
The band has retained its core line-up of Pete Wareham and George Crowley on saxophones, Kush Gaya on lead vocals, Adam Betts on drums, Ruth Goller on bass and Zands Duggan on percussion. Each a superb musician in their own right, but together evidently a force to be reckoned with.
This little gem is not for the faint-hearted; more for those who prefer music on the edge. At times, it is easy to forget that Melt Yourself Down has jazz at its core, with nuances of acid house raves from the late ’80s or even further back, to the experimental music of the late ’70s.
From the first track Boot and Spleen to the last, title track, the delivery of this masterpiece is one of musical wizardry. The vocals of Kush are out of this world, used to great effect so that it isn’t lost within the music. Wailing, speak raps as well as a sung vocal, also add to the overall ambience and, at times, the style leans towards that of Talking Heads or early Radiohead. These bands all have made their mark on music history and Melt Yourself Down are guaranteed to do the same.
It’s not often that an album holds such electric perfection, produced with compelling gusto from start to finish and incorporating a variety of styles, that sounds refreshingly different every time it’s played. Overall, an excellent release and one that will no doubt remain on several playlists, including those of club DJs, for some time.