torsdag 13. mars 2014

Boris: a study in evolution

[Denne teksten ble skrevet til Mind Over Metal i 2011, men aldri ferdigstilt. Ta den for det den er; et outtake plukket opp fra gulvet i øvingslokalet]

One of my greatest joys as a music afficianado are to experience new sounds from my favorite bands. I'm a huge fan of bands true to their sound like Iron Maiden, but i prefer to grow with "my" bands. I remember falling head over heels over Motorpsycho's magnificent epic Timothy's Monster and first hating, then loving The Mars Volta's Bedlam in Goliath. But i've rarely been put more to the test than following the japanese experimental rock band Boris.

I first discovered Boris in a small article in the british new music magazine Wire. I think it was published just prior to their brilliant milestone record Boris at Last -Feedbacker- which was a massive doom music experience. Not quite Sleep nor quite like anything Sunn 0))) had released at the time, they carved themselves a niche of their own within the doom genre.

I turned into an avid fan almost overnight and started out on a quest collecting the band's previous releases. But soon i found out that this was almost a hopeless task as they'd already released a large amount of records in different versions and on a variety of small, almost completely unknown, labels. First and foremost i bought the band's records similar to Boris at Last -Feedbacker- and the unquestionable force of Amplifier Worship and Absolutego took the band to the top in my year's end list the same year.

After a short while they changed their soundscape and the second phase of my relationship with the japanese group started brilliantly with the landmark record Akuma No Uta. Their transition from hour-long drone doom to short and fuzzy hard rock.were a great supplement to their already unique doom. The album Pink perfected their sound and the future looked bright.

But there was more to Boris than what first might have met the eye - the band has always been fond of finding new allies. I got aquainted with the band's noise roots when i listened to records like "Sun Baked Snow Cave" and "Black: Implication Flooding" where they cooperated with the japanese legends Merzbow and Keiji Haino.

A few years ago though, my relationship with the band soured when i saw them live in concert in Oslo. I felt they weren't able to project the fabolous sounds of their albums to the stage. The mighty sound of their drone doom were tuned out in favor of instant rock music without the same weight. Luckily, my faith were reinstated in the band when they released Rock Dreams - a live record featuring the band cooperating with Merzbow.

Full of anticipation i got hold of their record Smile, but i were to be sadly disappointed as that particular version mix felt a bit lacking. The soundscapes were poorly executed and the songs were not up to par with their previous rock outputs.

When they returned with the twin releases Heavy Rocks and Attention Please i sensed the band's wish to differentiate their sound as one record continued their fuzz rock trip while the other started the band's trip into a electro pop soundscape. And here's where i start to dislike the band's vision. I admire their passion for renewing themselves, but i'm seriously having doubts about Boris' new path. Their follow-up to these records wanted to blend these influences into the correctly titled album New Album. It has a magnificent cover, but it left me cold - never getting through to my heart.

Well, you lose some and win some. We will always have the early years!

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