This is a review of Banafish Zero at Pianos on Thursday, June 10, 2004.
Something disturbing happened to rock 'n' roll toward the end of the last century: beer and liquor bottles were replaced on stages worldwide with bottled water. Bananafish Zero breathes life back into rock music every time they take the stage because they drink beer and say "Fuck" with the brazen authority held by rock music's audacious forefathers. And, they rock.
Frontman John Law could pass for Ted Nugent's son, expending similar semi-psychotic onstage energy as the Motor City Madman. Law sweats in waves because he is a rock 'n' roll frontman, and that's what they do. Their drummer, who answers to "Texas," is a wiry Henry Rollins look-alike also embodying a frantic stage demeanor. Prince Hal plays loud, steady bass guitar.
With lyrics including "F-U-C-K-I-N-G" and "We've got balls made of stone," Bananafish Zero brings back to New York City's stages what the scene has been missing since CBGB's glory days. Except for the pristine Bloomberg-purified air in the club, the audience felt like they were once again at a real goddamned rock 'n' roll concert. Their cover of Donna Summer's disco classic "Hot Stuff" rocked hard; a sure-fired "A+" at Jack Black's School of Rock (if it existed).
More culturally intellectual, their "Raise the Roof Beams" respectably jabs hip-hop slang while also bringing the phrase to its full rock 'n' roll potential. Moments later their shouting refrain, "Every girl comes in 31 flavors," reminds us of the genre's most prolific muse (moreso than booze): Sex.
Go to a Bananafish Zero show to have fun. See a fully engorged neo-cock rock extravaganza. But also be selective about who you bring along because Law, Texas and Prince Hal put on a show that could kill a room full of horn-rimmed glasses-wearing hipsters. BFZ rocks with reckless abandon and shrugs off casualties that may occur in the process.