Take two world-class musicians, let them base kids’ songs on comments made by their young children, and bam, you’ve got to the secret recipe for an album with such brilliantly titled songs as “Going to Bed,” “Frog on a Jetski,” the “Rosanna” parody “Banana,” “Something Spells Funny,” “Ketchup For Breakfast,” and “Leave The Poor Dog Alone.” Well, all of the above is a reality, as Jim Roach and Brian Wecht have teamed up, formed a band called Go Banana Go!, and just released the kids’ album “Dark Side of the Banana.”
Roach, a performer, and producer, is known for his work with Sara Bareilles, Linkin Park, Ninja Sex Party, and Starbomb. He’s also contributed songs to movies and television shows, and won an Emmy Award (Best Music and Lyrics) for the song “Girl You Don’t Need Makeup” from Inside Amy Schumer. Wecht is a former theoretical physics professor (he taught at Queen Mary University in London) who retired from teaching so that he could dress up in a ninja costume for his comedy band Ninja Sex Party, which is how he and Roach first met. “Dark Side of the Banana” is actually their second album, following on the heels — or is that peels?! — of their debut album, “Hi-Ya!,” which was released in 2020, and the EP “It’s For You,” which paired them with Flula Borg and was released in 2021.
“Dark Side of the Banana” features 17 songs. Kids will hear funny lyrics and catchy beats and weird noises. Adults, meanwhile, will notice threads of the band’s musical influences, among them A Tribe Called Quest, country, DEVO, vaudeville, and Queen. According to a press release about “Dark Side of the Banana,” Roach’s daughter dribbled chocolate on her pants and announced that there should be a song with that title. Dad listened, and “Chocolate on My Pants” is track eleven on the album. Similarly, Wecht’s daughter inspired “Going To Bed” with her confident approach to life, which includes going to sleep. After her parents put her to bed, they’ll hear noises coming from her room and walk in to her having a solo dance party like it’s a nightclub. Sounds like the song should be called, “Staying Awake,” but who are we to judge? Guest vocalists on the album include Jonathan Young, Ike Amadi, Rachel Wecht, and Amy Roach.
Go Banana Go! has complemented their songs with entertaining, colorful videos, usually of the animated variety. The first video from “Dark Side of the Banana” is for “Petting Zoo.” It’s 93 seconds of fun, with a catchy song accompanied by amusing animation making clear it’s okay to pet all the pets at the petting zoo, but definitely not that lion over on the next property. Fatherly is happy to present that new video, which you can watch above.
The album is available now, which you can stream on Spotify right here: