Toxic Melons has 543 fans on Facebook. It's a deceptive number. To a degree, I feel like we have an involuntary negative bias towards bands that have less than thousands and thousands of Facebook fans. Here's an example: your buddy's band has 35,000 likes and is playing a show saturday night. Should you see the opening band? Well, they only have 350 Facebook fans. Because of that number, a lot of us wouldn't even listen to the songs on their profile. The way I see it is, nobody pays attention until thousands of people have paid attention. It's a strange sort of paradox. It's part of the reason why so many artists become frustrated. And part of the reason many give up.
I'll say it again: Toxic Melons has 543 fans on Facebook. It's a deceptive number. How?
1. Their music has been featured on Coldplay's website.
2. DJ Jazzy Jeff ("Parent's Just Don't Understand") has personally endorsed one of their songs.
Toxic Melons is a "band" with a non-permanent, revolving lineup. It is the brainchild of a 26 year old, power pop fanatic from the UK named Pablo Melons. Melons, whose real name is Paul Fairbairn, is a producer, arranger and songwriter with a wild aural imagination. Unless your name is Amanda Palmer, no undiscovered act wants to "make it" as much as Fairbairn. If his music falls on deaf ears, he can have the satisfaction of knowing he's done everything he could to gain a following. He spends night and day marketing Toxic Melons. According to Fairbairn, he sends his music to "everyone you can think of...not everyone replies, but some do."
One person who did reply was one of Fairbairn's biggest heroes, a multi-instrumentalist named Eric Dover. Dover has recorded with everyone from Meatloaf to Alice Cooper, but he is most beloved as the guitarist for Jellyfish. A now defunct power pop cult favorite, Jellyfish has influenced a variety of established musicians including Ben Folds, members of Fastball ("The Way") and "Call You Maybe" co-writer Josh Ramsay. Fairbairn is probably the biggest—and youngest—Jellyfish super fan alive. After building an online relationship with Eric Dover, he was able to convince the former Jellyfish guitarist to record on Toxic Melons' second recording, an EP called International Accident.
For someone who creates his sound with a virtual band of members from all over the world, you'd be surprised just how sophisticated the sound and arrangements are on International Accident. Even if the music doesn't match your taste, you can't help but be impressed by the amount of details, the plethora of "ooo's" and "ahhh's" on the vocals and the varied instrumentation, which includes everything from organs to guitars to god-knows-what. Fairbairn has an innate ability to translate what's in his head onto record. If he doesn't make it with Toxic Melons, the EP International Accident should indicate enough credibility for him to land gigs producing for other bands. As a songwriter, he sometimes lets his imagination go too far, opting for a lot of notes and jarring, zig-zaggy interludes. His music could probably benefit from a "less is more" approach. That said, there's enough examples of his strong melodic abilities on songs like "Ode To Procrastination" and "Alex's Song" to make one believe Fairbairn only needs more discipline and that there are volcanoes of potential inside him. Make no mistake, they're itching to erupt.
Click this and get ready to be International Accidented.