ALBUM REVIEW: Boris – Dear

Boris

Boris are now 25 years into a career that has stretched from the barren expanse of doom to hazy dream pop renderings and onto avant garde soundscapes and blistering, psychedelic punk rock. They hone in on a style and explore it to its logical extreme. On Dear they again hit the heavy button but this time they go deep into the detail, exploring both heaviosity and spaciousness.

There is usually a reactionary element to the way Boris approach a new album and given that their last release, Noise (2014), blended space rock, grunge and prog it was to be expected they’d retreat into the shadows again and dispense with traditional rock song structures. Dear is post-metal deconstructed and amplified. The drums sound like they were recorded in a cavernous tomb, the guitars are distorted to the point where they sound like sonic locusts and the bass rumbles with tectonic gravitas.

Boris haven’t abandoned their rockets tendencies altogether though. ‘Absolutego’ lumbers and crashes with both punk and metal ferocity, ‘Biotope’ is weighty shoegaze not dissimilar to Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Dystopia (Vanishing Point)’ sounds like J Mascis shredding over Pink Floyd and ‘Beyond’ pushes the limits of quiet/loud dynamics. Boris are at their best in these kinds of songs, where they find that sweet spot between noise and melody and where those contrasting elements blend and overlap, combining to produce emotional and physical music.

The rest of the album is much more introspective and indulgent, albeit in a fascinating way from the perspective of sonic architecture and sound design. Thunderous and screaming chords hang in the air, crashing drums enter and exit at seemingly random moments and Wata’s lead guitar is gloriously alien in the way it is played and processed. The ideal way to experience these songs would be standing directly in front of the band’s amplifiers, all on 11, feeling the sound as much as hearing it. ‘Karego’ threatens to melt speaker cones with the density and drone of the guitars while ‘The Power’ sounds like an attempt at inter-dimensional communication with everything in the red, bristling and pushing at its digital fabric.

The human voices in closer ‘Dear’ are guttural and exultant. A primitive greeting card and the most organic moment on the record. It sounds like Boris laid bare, a monumental encapsulation of their music and given that initially Dear was intended as a possible farewell record, it’s an open-ended way to finish the album and leaves both Boris and their fans asking where the trio will go next.

Chris Familton

 

NEW MUSIC: Boris | Quicksilver (from forthcoming new LP Noise)

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Boris are an incredible band who fuse, distort, bend and blend metal, psych, noise, punk and drone into one definitive sound. Live they are pummelling and hypnotic, on record they can be frustratingly indulgent or thrillingly visceral. ‘Quicksilver’ is the first taste of their new LP Noise which comes out on June 17th via Sargent House. Be prepared for seven minutes of tsunami-like waves of metallic and melodic shredding.

Noise:

01 Melody
02 Vanilla
03 Ghost of Romance
04 Heavy Rain
05 Taiyo no Baka
06 Angel
07 Quicksilver
08 Siesta

Preorders should be available HERE shortly

NEWS + MP3: Boris to release 3 new albums…

Hot on the heels of their BXI collaboration with Ian Astbury, Japan’s brilliant Boris are set to release two albums on the same day – April 26th. Sargent House is a new label for Boris and they have the honour of releasing the new albums Heavy Rocks and Attention Please. They are also set to release a third New Album in Japan only which will feature new songs plus new versions of a couple of tracks on Attention Please.

Don’t get confused with the band’s 2002 album Heavy Rocks, this is an entirely new record which apparently they’ve used the same title as it “seeks to redefine ‘heavy’ music in a culmination of the band’s tireless efforts over the past two decades”.

Attention Please, will feature guitarist Wata on vocals throughout – a first for her as she has previously only sung here and there on album tracks. Grab an MP3 of one of the tracks – the string soaked and urgent Hope below…

MP3: BORIS | HOPE

Heavy Rocks:

01 Riot Sugar
02 8
03 GALAXIANS
04 Jackson Head
05 Missing Pieces
06 Key
07 Window Shopping
08 Tu, la la
09 Aileron
10 Czechoslovakia

Attention Please:

01 Attention Please
02 Hope
03 Party Boy
04 See You Next Week
05 Tokyo Wonder Land
06 16:47:52…
07 Aileron
08 Les Paul Custom ‘86
09 Spoon
10 Hand in Hand

New Album

Boris - New Album
1. Party Boy
2. Hope-Hope
3. Flare
4. Black Original
5. Pardon?
6. Spoon
7. Head Jackson
8. Guitar dark
9. Tu, la la
10. Looprider
11. (Event information), yet few other songs

NEWS: Boris & Sunn O)) perform Altar live alongside BXI…

Good news for all you fans of Boris and Sunn O)) living near Brooklyn – The two lords of drone and ecxperimental metal are performing their album Altar for All Tomorrow’s Parties at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple on September 7th.

Joining them will be Jesse Sykes And The Sweet Hereafter and for their debut US performance, BXI – the new collaboration between Boris and The Cult”s Ian Astbury. BXI will release an EP in August on Southern Lord Records and Inoxia Records. We’ve heard some of it already and it fuckin’ rocks with a nice, almost post punk and goth feel!

BXI EP Track Listing:
1. Teeth and Claws
2. We are Witches
3. Rain (The Cult cover)
4. Magickal Child

BORIS North North American Summer Excursion 2010:

8/10/2010 Magic Stick – Detroit, MI w/ Russian Circles

8/11/2010 Southgate House – Newport, KY w/ Russian Circles

8/13/2010 Metro – Chicago, IL w/ Russian Circles

8/14/2010 Firebird – St. Louis, MO w/ Russian Circles

8/15/2010 Granada Theatre – Lawrence, KS w/ Russian Circles

8/16/2010 Marquis Theater – Denver, CO w/ Red Sparrowes

8/17/2010 *TBA – Salt Lake City, UT w/ Red Sparowes

8/19/2010 Republik – Calgary, AB w/ Red Sparowes

8/20/2010 The Starlite – Edmonton, AB w/ Red Sparowes

8/22/2010 Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC w/ Red Sparowes

8/23/2010 Neumo’s – Seattle, WA w/ Red Sparowes

8/24/2010 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR w/ Red Sparowes

8/26/2010 Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA w/ Red Sparowes

8/27/2010 El Rey – Los Angeles, CA w/ Red Sparowes

8/28/2010 The Glass House – Pomona, CA w/ Red Sparowes

9/05/2010 Kutsher’s Country Club – Monticello, NY @ ATP Fest – “Altar set” w/ SUNNO)))

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REVIEW: NOISE NIGHT @ Opera House, Sydney 31/05/10

photo| Nelly X via FasterLouder

written by Chris Familton

There was something exciting about attending a celebration of noise, drone and experimental music at the Opera House, a venue that normally hosts music and theatre of a more classical and structured form. Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson are to be congratulated for their Vivid Festival curatorial selections and the variety of music they have included across the event.

On arrival for the anticipated 7.30pm start time the anticipation was quelled somewhat by a delay of an hour which meant longer hydration time at the bar and a chance to check out the eclectic audience of Sydney musicians and fans of deconstructed music. Ushers roamed the bars handing out earplugs, a sure sign that volume was going to be the order of the night.

Once seated we were eased into the volume and sonic explorations with the relatively straightforward noise rock of Melbourne’s Zond. There were furtive glances between members and insistent gestures as to how to start and end their songs that were filled with propulsive, surging bass and textural, slashing guitars.

The first of two Japanese bands were Melt-Banana who were like Rage Against The Machine colliding with a punkier Bjork. Their precision and the inventive guitar sounds and playing made for a fascinating and schizophrenic sound. Time signatures mutated and they showed that playing challenging music doesn’t mean you forgo the right to performance and showmanship. They were the most entertaining group of the evening.

Local guitar manipulator Oren Ambarchi conjured up some incredible sounds from his instrument and a table of effects units. There wasn’t a guitar chord or note progression to be heard, instead we got a soundscape of surging electronics that darted across the theatre’s crystal clear speakers. Ambarchi’s skill lies in his sonic control and the ability to shape rhythm and form without descending into density and noise for noise sake.

Ambarchi stuck around as a supplementary axe-slinger for Boris, a band who are masters of their punk, metal, stoner, psych, drone-rock domain. Playing a more drone-based set than their full weekend shows they lulled the audience into a sedative mood before unleashing their full force with waves of thunderous distortion that pushed you back into your seat. It was insanely loud, dense and the perfect mix of repetition and weight. The drummer was particularly resplendent in white suit, and gloves and his gong playing and propensity for raising the devil’s salute made him the focus of the band’s all too brief set.

Intermission gave the ears a welcome reprieve before we were aurally assaulted by Rice Corpse and the sight of Lucas Abela blowing, sucking and screaming into a sheet of mic’d up glass that gradually snapped and shattered in his hands. It was interesting to watch but there seemed no interplay between Abela, the keyboardist and tight power drummer. An experiment gone wrong.

Once a vacuum cleaner cleared the shards of glass from the stage – to rousing applause and witty heckling – Bardo Pond, accompanied by Marc Ribot, played one long piece of swirling psychedelic drone that slowly built like an approaching tsunami. The singer had issues with her monitors that distracted from the music and there wasn’t really a sense of the music reaching its destination or indeed its potential until its final minutes. Bardo Pond needed to be experienced over a full set to really appreciate their hypnotic abilities. By this time stage crew were scurrying like manic ants, shifting amps, rewiring mics and still trying to make up for the late start. Night Terrors unfortunately got an early windup after two songs but they added another angle to the ‘noise’ theme with a more electronic slant augmented by some wonderful theremin playing. It was haunting and melodic rather than the usual novelty shortwave radio screams we are normally subjected to from the instrument.

The final section saw Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson return to the stage (after a brief interlude jam earlier in the evening) to lead an all-star ten piece collective through a mesmerising improvised audio collage. It worked surprisingly well with all musicians respecting the greater whole and not over indulging on their given instrument. Reed commanded centre-stage on a throne of sorts with comfortable chair, guitar and racks of effects while Anderson was resplendent in tartan skirt, track pants and nylon ski vest, coaxing dramatic melodies from her electric viola and directing the music that ebbed and flowed like an experimental classical piece devoid of structure and restraint.

Noise Night was a great success musically but the structure, with continuous music and constant scrambling stage crew, made the evening feel too frantic and distracting. It was an experiment that didn’t quite work but the sounds and intent of the musicians was a treat for those who prefer their music to be intellectually stimulating and physically confronting.

This review first appeared on FasterLouder

NEWS: BORIS release ‘new’ album of Variations…

Those Japanese drone psych lords Boris have recorded a new album – Variations – of previously released tracks. The reason is that with Michio Kurihara now seemingly a permanent 4th member they decided to re-record the songs with his extra flavours added. It sounds magnificent, contains 13 tracks, is primarily their more rocking stuff and also includes a bonus 2 hour Live In Japan DVD…

Order a copy now from Inoxia Records

01 – Introduction (Edit)

02 – Korosu

03 – Pink

04 – Woman on the Screen

05 – Yesterday Morning

06 – Rainbow

07 – A Bao A Qu

08 – Statement

09 – My Neighbor Satan

10 – Floor Shaker

11 – Naki Kyoku

12 – 1970

13 – Farewell (Full Length)