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Daevid Allen - Banana Moon CD (album) cover

BANANA MOON

Daevid Allen

 

Canterbury Scene

3.22 | 64 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

mental_hygiene
3 stars This is a very strange album that's in many ways dissapointing and intriguing. What brought me to this was my general attraction to canterbury solo careers. Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Steve Hillage, etc, there's a lot of big names to choose from. If that wasn't enough, there's the fact that this guy who lead the original lineup of Soft Machine was a member of the obscure garage boink music group Gong. Daevid Allen spells his name weird, so I thought his solo album would be just as pleasant or astounding. The cover art is really sick, and probably the only remotely polished element of this release.

I really love Ween, and one of my favorite Ween albums is GodWeenSatan. If you listen to the first song on this album, Time of Your Life, you might think that this album is absolutely miles away from GodWeenSatan or the Pod. I really love Frank Zappa, and one of my favorite Zappa albums is Joe's Garage. If you listen to the second song on this album, you might think that this album is absolutely miles away from Joe's Garage or We're Only in It for the Money. I really love Daniel Johnston, and one of my favorite Daniel Johnston albums is Hi, How Are You? Finally once you reach the song All I Want is Out of Here, you begin to understand where Banana Moon becomes relevant with all of the prior names. The album takes a complete 180 into absurity and chaos. I don't know if this album was at all relevant or influential to any of the previously mentioned names, but I hear a very clear connection. It is self expression by being as absolutely chaotic as possible.

Daevid Allen tricks us into believing that he rocks and/or rolls. Or that he is secretly a genius composer songwriter. I think the dude just had so much fine while recording this. At the same time you could easily write this off as complete gibberish, there's a charm to some of the droning proto-noise rock tracks towards the end. And His Adventures in the Land of Flip is probably the highlight of this album for me. Some might find it unbearable, but unbearable psychedelia is what I thrive on sometimes.

Most of all, how did this album get made? Gong is pretty out there for the early 70s, but I feel like the distinct aura of some of these songs was only possible in a DIY environment. See: all of the above mentioned DIY albums. Yes, I count Frank Zappa as a DIY musician, that's a different tangent for another review.

To end this review on a more serious tone, this album is really unbalanced. The original issue sells the first side as more of an accessible post-soft machine collection of songs, which range from alright to really mediocre. The second side is the freakout, which I think is the only consistent unit of energy on this record. I would absolutely come back to that side of Banana Moon, but as an album, I'm not sure if it's good. However, for the sheer daringness of Allen, I feel like this deserves to be counted as 3 stars.

mental_hygiene | 3/5 |

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