This is your brain on
drugs: For Rad Times Xpress IV, out
this week on Drag
City, Jennifer Herrema
expands and expounds upon the Royal Trux/RTX glam-metal-trash-art aesthetic.
By Claire Ashton
It’s only fitting that Black Bananas would waylay the world
via Drag City; the same label that began with a
Royal Trux release and remained loyal to sleaze-queen Jennifer Herrema post-split
from bandmate beau Neil Hagerty as she ventured into RTX
territory. More than a simple
rebranding, this new incarnation goes bananas with Herrema at the wheel and her long-time RTX skinny boys in tow, walloping
you upside the head with an acid-induced mash-up of rollicking glam, gunky metal
and ghetto-fabulous art rock.
Rad Times Xpress IV (Drag City) is the dirty alley where The Make-up and Marc Bolan conceive a love
child; two parts political agenda to one part smeared eyeliner and razor-sharp presence. Herrema has seen it all, from heroin
addiction to success as a Calvin Klein model and Volcom denim designer, so it’s
only logical that her first venture into Black Banana land is as diverse and
outside of the box as faithful followers would expect. There’s minimal cohesion throughout the
group’s freshman release, save for heavy bass lines that rival even the
slickest modern hip-hop and metal guitar riffs so smutty they could make any
redneck blush. Black Bananas cover pop
sensibility (“Hot Stupid”), Slayer on psychotropics (“Killer Weed”), noodling
in the basement (“It’s Cool”), club-hopping (“Acid Song”) and crazy keyboards
that sound like the Millennium Falcon (“Do It”).
album and more attack of the senses, Rad
Times Xpress IV sounds like your brain on drugs. Good drugs.