Album Art

Melt Yourself Down – Last Evenings On Earth [The Leaf Label]

Melt Yourself Down‘s second album Last Evenings On Earth starts with a pulsating throb of bass, their signature twin saxophones not making an appearance until almost a minute into the track. It’s a marked departure from their defiantly sax-led debut and sets the tone for the rest of the record. Where on Melt Yourself Down most tracks were built up around a lead sax line, this record is more focussed on the interactions between Ruth Goller’s bass and Leafcutter John’s electronics. It lends a definite groove to the record which means that it feels simultaneously looser and tighter than the debut. Everything’s more locked-in, funkier if you like, but this focus on the rhythm section rather than the brass means that they lose some of the momentum of the first album.

Lead single ‘The God Of You’ is something of an exception, with saxophonists Shabaka Hutchings and Pete Wareham tightly winding their instruments around each other, but it’s swiftly followed by ‘Listen Out’ which alternates between jazzy squiggles and Kaoss pad electronic swooshes. For all the press release trumpets singer Kushal Gaya’s decision to sing mostly in English rather than his native Mauritian/French Creole this time round, the balance is pretty similar to the debut and the combination of his accent and the fact that he’s often buried in the mix doesn’t make a huge amount of difference. The important thing is he brings a wild-eyed intensity to proceedings, conducting the voodoo dance from the swirling centre.

The second half of the record builds from the eight-bit bleeps of ‘Jump The Fire”s intro, through the incessant bass groove of ‘Bharat Mata’ which dissolves into a dubby jam, causing the lines to blur between tracks. The psychedelics kick in, ‘Big Children (Gran Zanfan)’ grows out of an atonal blur of noise and the chaos of the city becomes a distorted mirror to the tribal exotica of the track’s middle section, before a drum machine draws everything in tighter and tighter. The most interesting ideas come when the band allow themselves to experiment a bit more by amalgamating their diverse set of influences, as on the aforementioned ‘Jump The Fire’ with it’s sparkling plucked synth and chirruping sax, and later ‘Body Parts’‘ intro of heavily processed sax stretched out to impossible droning length before the percussion pulls the whole thing into a lolloping funk groove.

Closer ‘Yazzan Dayra’ feels almost tame after the onslaught of the rest of the record, a happy-go-lucky chant celebrating the sun finally coming up again as the dying embers of the fire we were dancing in last night fade and sputter. It’s a much needed respite that eases you back into the real world. If these really are the Last Evenings On Earth we might as well have a proper party on the way out.

 

Last Evenings On Earth is released on 29 April on The Leaf Label.

https://soundcloud.com/melt-yourself-down/the-god-of-you

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.