This is when Boredoms reached the pivotal point in their career; tipping them away from the studio chaos of early releases and into the psychedelic enlightenment that would eventually fully awaken in Vision Creation Newsun. Probably an ideal place to start for the uninitiated and fearful, although the spinning reels and harsh earstabs of "Super You" would surely scare away most. You persevere though, and you'll soon find yourself immersed in one of the very few records that can be considered a universe unto itself.
The second track hits you up with more chanting, yet this time it's more serene; like whatever the hell made the first song happen is now long gone, so now peace can resume. It's all build though. These Japanese dudes are deceptive, you have to realise this. Static noises buzz around you like a thousand flies, although they are mere distractions to make sure you don't see the thrashing, flailing riffs coming until it's too late. Powerful stuff indeed, yet even that only feels like a prelude to orgasmic ecstasy of the next track (more on that later). The cartoon vocals of Pop Tatari make their guest appearance on the 12-minute epic that is "Super Coming". Too long? No way, this is not about when the track should stop, but why; after all, the fact that the singer can keep up such vocal craziness for that long is nothing short of awe-inspiring. "Super Good" also seems to be worth bringing to the attention of anyone destined to be reading this paragraph, as, naturally, the only way to balance out the chaos of the first few tracks is with pure celestial bliss. Shimmering, jaw-dropping bliss, something that you only ever hear once every century.
It's "Super Going" that, ironically enough, keeps me returning to this record though. The start is as standard as this collective will ever allow themselves to be, with percussive freakouts, Eye-led electronic tinkering, and panning, ritualistic chanting that never seems to be brought fully into focus. It continues like this for a good few minutes, allowing the listener more than enough time to sinker deeper and deeper into the ground of this strange new world. But then something amazing happens. Something truly earth-shattering. It's around the 8:36 mark. Suddenly the percussion is stopped, the listener is halted in their tracks and is now facing their past and future simultaneously in a one on one battle; first blood wins. The track shudders slightly, then stutters even faster...
Eye lets out a scream harsher than any black metal vocalist, yet more beautiful than any opera singer. The listener is stunned. They don't know what to do, so they just stare at the CD spinning around and around, almost mocking them due to its greater willingness to make any sort of movement. You can't do anything, hell, I didn't do anything, at least not for a few hours.
When I fully regained focus, I played Super Ae over and over again.
I did this until I reached the sun.
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Super Are is a truly impressive statement of musical vision from Eye and the Boredoms, representing an (almost) complete break from their earlier, 'wacky'/near-unlistenable work. It has many of the same ingredients as their later album, Vision Creation Newsun, but I feel it has a bit more diversity from track to track. The first track is pretty gruelling on the ears, with crunching guitar chords intercut with bizarre winding-up/down noise; not too much fun if you're listening on headphones. After this, the album mellows quite a bit, with some lovely harmonised vocals coming out. The Boredoms can then come in with the basic song formula that they use in this album, and VCN, to great success; take an ultra-simplistic 2 or 3-chord riff, and then groove on it in epic fashion for 10+ minutes. Any lesser band would make this interminably boring, but the Boredoms manage to do it with real style and passion, with dense layers of big chords, crazy electronics and those unique drum'n'bass/taiko-influenced drum polyrhythms. Over all this, Eye and others chant or sing; I don't have a clue what they're on about, but it sounds like they're having a damn good time. This album doesn't feel quite as 'organic' as VCN, in that the tracks don't flow into each other as seamlessly. It does, though, have a lot more variety; there are several excursions into mellow, jazzy stuff, and 'Super Coming' has an incredibly bizarre country rock-ish feel to it that just has to be heard. Towards the end, we even begin to hear traditional Japanese melodies coming through; I felt this was one of those (fairly) rare albums that actually improves towards the end. Super Are just has much, much more sheer creativity, energy and joy put into it than practically any release I could care to think about. I found it really, really hard to stop listening to this. Highly recommended.
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