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

 

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