Music Review—Sicker

Artist: Melonball
Album: Breathe
Single: Sicker

German skate-punk band, Melonball, are releasing their debut album Breathe on March 31st 2023.  In the meantime, the band has released a single from the album, titled “Sicker”.  The single is available for streaming anywhere you get your music.

Melonball was formed in 2019 and consists of five members: Oli on vocals; Basti on guitar and backing vocals; Mally on guitar; Jens on bass; and Julian on drums and backing vocals.

Melonball also frequently uses the hashtag #femalefrontedisnotagenre.  This is referring to the tendency to lump together disparate bands based on the presence of a female vocalist or frontperson.  Notably, the term “male fronted” is rarely (if ever!) used a descriptor because male-fronted bands are seen as the default.  According to a New Noise Magazine article covering the subject, “The majority of female musicians constantly deal with sexism in the scene, including being tokenized, excluded, and seen as not good enough to play alongside their male counterparts.” The use of this hashtag is meant to encourage thinking critically about how we categorize bands who do not consist solely of cisgender men, as well as promoting inclusivity in the music industry.

According to Oli, Breathe collects social and system-critical topics, channels and breaks them down to the human feelings that are left at the end and can make you despair sometimes: “It’s at least comforting and often even life-saving to know that you’re not alone, that you’re not the only person feeling overwhelmed by injustice, abuse of power and all the shit that happens everywhere, but that you’re among like-minded people who share the same attitude and morals.”

Breathe consists of ten tracks: Sicker; Sinking; Move Your Mind; Break a Leg; Rage; We All Go Down; FastForward; Lost; Whatever; and Your Love.

Regarding the single, “Sicker”, the band says, “Certainly the most personal song for Oli.  It is about the fact that—while for many, ‘family’ means support and positivity—for some, it can also be a burden that you carry with you throughout your life.”

Melonball’s overall sound reminds me of The Offspring—a more radio-friendly version of punk.  “Sicker” opens with an amazing, powerful guitar solo before introducing Oli’s vocals.  The song is fast, melodic, and angsty, with lyrics like, “Blood is sicker than water/I don’t give a fuck about your line/Blood, blood, blood is sicker than water/Our heritage is what I decline.” Anyone who has issues with their family will heavily relate to this song.  It’s vulnerable and angry, and the play on words is creative.  However, I simply wasn’t a fan of Oli’s voice (at least in this song).  I found it fell flat—like it was fighting to be heard over the instrumentals.

The music video for the single is different.  It begins with the band playing on a stage, which we find out is actually a movie theatre when the camera pans to the audience.  At one point, a man being ridiculed for talking on his cell phone in the audience turns out to be one of the band members, and sings his part into his cell phone.  It was cute, but nothing special, and didn’t really relate to the content of the song.

Overall, though, I enjoyed “Sicker”.  I’m excited to hear the rest of Breathe. 

Check out Melonball on Instagram and Facebook.