SINGLE REVIEW: Unalaska – “There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand” [2014]


Artist: Unalaska   

“There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand” – Single


Stop. Stop it right now, I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, look, a band title that almost makes sense,” followed by “That song title is a whole damn sentence,” and “wait, is that an Arrested Development reference?” True—Unalaska’s name seems a bit tongue-in-cheek—but not nearly as much as their Bluth-ian song title. Also true? That doesn’t matter. “There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand” is a debut single from a band chomping at the bit to bring fresh, creative passion to the stale, rotting corpse of metalcore—a song that not just hints at promise, but delivers it.

“There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand” is a unique combination of glittering, bright post-hardcore, abrasive, down-tuned metalcore and touches of inventive, quintessentially Midwestern spoken-word vocals. Unalaska begin the track with shimmering fretwork—a crystal clear lead riff that cuts through bouncy, splashy percussion and cunningly compliments the crooned, clean vocals that accompany them. However, the initial speed and flare of the track builds on itself, toggling between driving, percussion-led aggression and serene, ethereal moments of soul-soothing atmosphere—eventually reaching a climax in a stuttering breakdown that leaves jagged cuts all across the listener; these wounds gape and gush until they are finally sealed by the track’s picturesque closing sequence, where jazzy, smooth percussion serves as a scaffold for minutely plucked guitar and heart-rending lyrics delivered in a manner that would make Jordan Dreyer proud—this only lasts for so long, however, before Unalaska light the Banana Stand ablaze, closing the track with a burning, passionate session of pulverizing heaviness. Far from copy-paste, refreshingly original and remarkably young, Unalaska are certainly a band that won’t leave the listener out in the cold.


For Fans Of: La Dispute, Of Machines, The Color Morale, We Came As Romans

By: Connor Welsh