Release Date: May 24, 2011
Record label: Sargent House
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
I guess in order to facilitate the notion that you’re hard to pin down it pays to be hard to pin down. The versatility and genre hopping that Japanese metal/drone/guitar trio Boris cultivate allows them to navigate a slew of creative options, whether that be from a collaborative standpoint (BXI ….
Nuclear-powered Japanese rock trio [a]Boris[/a] relish in causing confusion. They’re releasing two albums this week and one of them, [b]‘Heavy Rocks’[/b], has the same name and artwork as another album they released in 2002. The other, [b]‘Attention Please’[/b], is the first to feature just guitarist Wata on vocals.Her breathlessly beautiful singing style calls to mind classic Stereolab on the title track and one of [a]My Bloody Valentine[/a]’s more sublime moments on [b]‘Hope’[/b].
Two albums for the price of one? Almost, not quite... Okay, Boris; now you’re just taking the piss. Yep, not only are the insanely prolific Japanese outfit releasing two new albums simultaneously, but in the case of ‘Heavy Rocks’, they’re also recycling the title of an old one. Still, said ….
This is a busy year for Boris: the Japanese drone-metal-psych-shoegaze band released three full length albums plus an album length collaboration with Merzbow. Here we have the last two of the three Boris albums, two albums that at first seem to have nothing in common except that they represent the band’s interest in creating different sounds and trying out new genres. Attention Please is the more dramatic shift; not only does guitarist Wata provide vocals for the first time (and she sings lead the whole album), the album consists of less guitar-oriented more pop-influenced songs.
Attention Please is one of two simultaneously released albums by Japan's Boris on the Sargent House imprint in 2011. The other is Heavy Rocks--not related to the 2002 album. It is also one of four planned full-lengths by the group during the calendar year. (The others are a collaboration with Masami Akita -- aka Merzbow -- entitled Klatter, and New Album, which mixes tracks from Attention Please and Heavy Rocks with other new material.
Each of Boris’ latest full-lengths, Heavy Rocks and Attention Please, features a song called “Aileron.” The Heavy Rocks version is twelve minutes and change, a sprawling, ultra-distorted slow-burner, featuring the sort of low-end output that trembles your speakers. The “Aileron” on Attention Please, conversely, is finger-picked and sans vocals. The former is the album’s dénouement; the latter a melancholic interlude.
Boris have never been one for hedged bets or bridled ambitions. In the past 15 years, the Japanese trio has released more than 20 albums of heavy eclecticism-- stoner bludgeons and thrash blasts, dense drones and noise screes. They're the band with Atsuo-- the screaming, gong-banging drummer with one of those arena-rock, hands-off microphones-- and Takeshi, a multi-instrumentalist who plays a double-necked guitar so often and well that it doesn't seem like an affectation.
The thing about going about your biz in the way Boris have done for most of their existence, switching styles from release to release with almost no repetition, is that it pretty much ensures you’ll be more admired than adored. Boris have a tangible fanbase, no denying that: larger outside of ….
As if forging an alternate history, Boris' Heavy Rocks shares a title and comparable artwork with the Japanese outfit's 2002 LP, a classic power trio rendering of modern doom metal. That's where similarities end. Heavy Rocks (2011) improves on the glam thrash of previous studio release Smile (2008) with two centerpiece epics, three-act torrential ballad "Missing Pieces" and "Aileron," a 12-minute glacial drone that's nearly a sequel to Pink's "Farewell." There are misfires (speed-metal chaser "Czechoslovakia"), but the bottom-heavy "Tu, La La" lets the Led out.