Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Album Review - Boris

Boris – Smile
[Diwphalanx/Southern Lord; 07/03/2008]

How long is a piece of string? It’s not worth answering in Boris’ case. Only a band with vision could extract noise the way Boris does. Their catalogue covers a wide range of influences ranging from drone, post-rock, doom, sludge, metal, and straight-up rock ‘n’ roll. With this wide array of influences comes the one thing that amalgamates things together; noise. This is the Japanese beast in a nutshell. Granted, it’s the biggest fucking nutshell known to man.

Boris has always kept their listeners hanging on a knife’s edge with what they produce from album to album. Whether it is stripping notes bare through their drone aesthetic, or attempting to blow a hole in your ear drums with their bellowing guitar mess through vintage Orange amplifiers, the Japanese trio has never failed to extrude a menacing wall of sound.

In many ways, their latest opus Smile is a claustrophobic jaunt of drawn out, manipulating sounds that poke and prod up until to the final two tracks. ‘You Put Up Your Umbrella’ and ‘You Were Holding An Umbrella’, are the album’s two main attractions, with tempos that waver and large walls of sound that fly left, right and centre throughout the 27 minutes and 39 seconds the respective tracks total.

The sound exploitation during ‘Next Saturn’ is Boris yet again dabbling into new areas (what’s new?), while the lead single also stamps its authority and shows Boris manipulating noise whilst in possession of their respective instruments in beautiful intimidating fashion.

The order was always going to be tall in surpassing Pink, but if there were any band that failed to rest on their laurels then Boris is that band. In truth, Boris doesn’t care one iota of surpassing anything they’ve created in the past. If anything, Smile is representation of a band intent on not only breaking their own boundaries but creating new ones for others.


No comments: