Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
on 21 April 2004
for the last decade or so music coming out of japan has been increasingly interesting and diverse. from the acid-drenched wailings of the boredoms to legendary noise terrorist merzbow we have come to expect japanese bands breaking through into the western markets to be challenging. and on paper boris are a mouth-watering prospect.
there is no mistaking the fact that boris are, at heart, a drone band. songs last 8-9 minutes often with lengthy interludes of monotonous feedback yet unlike labelmates sunn o))) they introduce elements of stoner and even crusty punk to their low end rumble. its an inspired concept, yet unfortunately boris dont have the song writing skill to pull it off to best effect. in order to use feedback you have to do something interesting with it. sunn o))) bleed frequencies to create thunderous walls of sound and khanate incorporate it into eerie atmospheric, pant-soiling tableaus of sonic evil. boris, however, hold the same note for a very long time which may be all arty but is in fact terribly boring. thankfully they are not a one trick pony as other elements of their style are commendable. they show a sound grasp of stoner riffing playing in a similar vein to sleep and their punked up numbers lurch and grate like discharge on downers.
this is all well and good but, and this is a big but, boris dont seem to know how to structure a song. they have all the right concepts to impress southern lord devotees and should, by all rights, be producing an extremely tasty slice of psychadelic pie. yet it just doesnt fit. blissful drones burst into mammoth riffs without warning and tribal drums appear out of nowhere. these sort of 'turn-on-a-dime' dynamics are exciting in hardcore music but in snail-pace sludge it just sounds awkward.
with a bit more time spent on melding their waywards styles together boris could be something truly spectacular. perhaps a collaboration with drone overlord stephen o'malley or some sonic advice (there are more dials than just reverb!!) from experimentalist aaron turner could see this japanese trio mate their drone tendecies with their zepelin fetishes successfully. until then, however, boris will continue to be a mediocre band with ideas above their station.