Release Date: Dec 6, 2011
Record label: Sargent House
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
If grainy fansubs and powdered mochi were ever a part of your childhood, it’s going to be hard to talk about this record without reverting to preteen otaku geekspeak. For the initiated: listening to Boris’ New Album — not to be confused with any of their three other new albums — feels like watching a cracked-out AMV set to impossibly big-haired J-rock, a marble bottle of ramune in one hand and a breadstick colored Yan Yan pink in the other. For those in need of a translation: Japan’s longest standing vets of interminable drone and bloodcurdling hard rock have turned in a record that sounds like something by a band of Shinjuku popstars half their age.
It's been a very strange year for Boris, and that's seriously saying something. 2011 saw the long-running Japanese experimental rock trio put out a total of three full-length albums this year (four, if you count Klatter, their sixth co-release with Merzbow). A quick summary for those just arriving to the game: Heavy Rocks, named after their 2002 album of the same name, was their fastball, a straight-forward collection of, well, heavy rockers that saw them playing entertainingly, but somewhat disconcertingly safe.
After being silent for nearly three years, Japan's Boris returned with a vengeance in 2011, issuing three albums, all of which reappraise to varying degrees their original rep as a noise metal power trio. Attention Please and Heavy Rocks (the latter an extension of an album with that title from 2002) were released on the same day in May. Those albums were assembled from material cut for an abandoned offering.
To call Boris prolific is an understatement. New Album is their third album this year, and that’s not counting the Merzbow collaboration, Klatter. Although Boris is most commonly associated with metal of the drone and sludge varieties, they have been mixing it up ever since their 1996 debut, Absolutego, never being the same experimental metal band twice.
In recent years, Boris' self-mythologizing has been the most interesting part of their project. They've thrown plenty of curve balls since forming in 1992, but after 2005's Pink, they sped up the shifts and got weirder. The trio is also more willing to revisit its past and recontextualize its output with new styles and approaches.