Melt Yourself Down – 100% Yes: eclectic influences and electronic experimentation
In the three years since their last album a lot has changed, and Melt Yourself Down are certainly not shying away from that with new album 100% Yes. Unashamedly political, the album tackles topics such as Grenfell Tower, the destructiveness of social media and the flesh-eating drug Krokodil. Not for the fainthearted, one might think. However, the band’s impressive mix of instrumental experimentation and eclectic musical styles make this much more than a protest record. As its name would suggest, they are able to pull out some positivity in their polemic.
The subject matter provides the record with a sense of urgency that was missing from their earlier two albums. The tracks have the usual psychedelic feel, but the addition of electronic influences adds an intensity to them. On stand out tracks It Is What it Is, Crocodile and the anthemic Every Single Day these influences meld together into a multifaceted mix which is both intriguing and seamless, but on others they are less even. Chop Chop, the album’s “dancey” track, is confusing, and All This Trouble‘s combination of influences misses the mark. At times the plethora of styles feels over-indulgent and, as a result, slightly jarring.
The enemy of HMV shelf-stackers everywhere, the group is often cited as “defying categorisation”. Combining jazz, funk, afrobeat, cumbia and electronica, to name a few, this album propels the group further into becoming undefinable. Formed by legendary saxophonist Pete Wareham, of experimental jazz collective Acoustic Ladyland, group’s aim has always been to unashamedly explore their many musical influences. They are not a band for whom less is more, and it is for that that their fans love them.
This foray into electronic sounds works excellently when the desire to experiment is more contained, resulting in tighter, more coherent, tracks. But at times 100% Yes sees them wander off and miss the mark. Without this wandering tendency, though, Melt Yourself Down would not have made the music they have today – and so the odd dodgy track seems a price worth paying.
100% Yes is released on 27th March 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Melt Yourself Down’s website here.
Watch the video for Every Single Day here: