Monday, March 14, 2011

BORIS "NEW ALBUM" (Avex Group/Daymare)

Holy shit. The moment the first song jumps in you know something's different. This is Boris as they have never, ever sounded before, and considering this group's constant reinvention that's making a fairly incredible statement. "New Album" is supposedly a Japan-only release, and as such the band has crafted a record that pays obvious homage to its home country's interpretation of Western-style pop music, a hypersunshiney over-jittered deliriously cheerful transmogrification of the form. If you've heard any true J-Pop or anime soundtracks then you'll have a better idea of what you're for, but otherwise this is totally off the wall, crazy and completely unexpected.
The album is amazing. The songs are beautiful little nuggets of peppy dreamy shimmery pop n'roll, danceable bits of trippy fluff that sound similar to the nonsense churned out by 9DW, whom Boris recently shared a split with. Their contribution to that album, however, left little hint that this was where the band was headed, nor did anything they've put out in the last year or so. There's really nothing heavy here, nothing like "heavy" has meant to Boris in the past, but there is a focus on tremendously uptempo "rock" format, an exploration of the form that Boris have toyed with in the past but never completely embraced. Here it's full on candied brain assault. Pure pop sugar, dripping with sentiment and syrupy sweet string arrangements and heavenly cooing courtesy both Wata and Takeshi, showing a remarkable improvement yet again as far as vocal prowess is concerned. It's easy to imagine this record being a huge hit in Japan, and it's not so much of a stretch to see it taking root over here either, were the airwaves a little more open to outside influence or embracing of other cultures. Like so many other pop acts, Boris are masters at regurgitating what they're hearing and coming up with something that takes root with people, but whereas someone like our own Katy Perry merely serves up shit you've heard again and again, Boris are working much more cleverly, transforming pop form into something friendly from a mass-appeal perspective but retaining enough of their vision to appeal to the core base of people that loved "Absolutego."
This album will more than likely put some of those people off, though. It's different, and you really have to listen to it to understand just how bizarre this is. It's still Boris-the minor key inflections and sporadic bursts of massive guitars are there-but it's also something very far removed from what someone's interpretation and idea of Boris may have been. The reinvention here is near total and it's difficult for me to really express how impressive and stately this album is. I'm absolutely blown away by this shit-across the 50 or so Boris documents i own there is NOTHING remotely like this record at all, no precedent for what's laid out here. I cannot wait to hear them tour this material because i can;t imagine how it's possibly going to sound live-will they just tear through it raw and frenzied or will they actually refine their live sound too to in order to put forth the idea of pop authenticity? Either way, i can't wait. An astonishing, flooring piece of work from Boris, an absolute must hear. I can't recommend this more highly-it'll astound you how out there this is, but it's so fucking good and cool and creative and referential that it could only have come from Boris. FUCKING AMAZING.

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