Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Boris - Akuma no Uta (2003)

Boris is a brutal delicacy, that rare concoction that does all things for all people. If everyone knew it and consumed it in extremis, though, it would stop being a delicacy, right? Oh well, everyone else's loss. _Akuma No Uta_ is a drop-dead masterpiece, from the punishing drone of the opener to the gong-inititiated reprise of the intro on the last song, the title track (translated as "The Evil Song.") They can do it all and just about better than all the competition:
--Sludge? I don't hear anyone who can blend a blaring punk melody with sludge in such a truly sickly-sweet manner as Boris does on their upbeat tracks;
--Drone? To say the least, but that doesn't stop them from rocking like mad when they choose to push their own boundaries.
--Psychedelic? Believe me, when you turn _Akuma No Uta_ up as loud as you need to, there are few more mind-and-body-altering experience than this one (really your body churns!!!);
--Punk? Yeah . . . we can call this band punk as fuck. To those who like their music in boxes and think that punk as fuck means the latest Exploited retread, well, Boris is too punk for you. For the rest of us, Boris may be the band who can cash in on the late, great Refused's promise of _The Shape of Punk to Come_. Like the Refused, Boris takes any style and makes it their own in their awe-inspiring music machine (minus the jazziness of the Nordic screamers, but plus the sludge, drone, psychedelia, etc. . . .). Also like the Refused, Boris are forward-looking, taking the listener on a gleeful death ride that leaves you absolutely free. It doesn't get more punk than that, kids.
When you take into account that Boris are Japanese and rock harder and better than pretty much any of us in the Anglo world, it's clear to see where our eyes should be turning to discover where the future of rock lay. I realize that I've talked them up more than I've reviewed the songs, but words can hardly describe. I'll just say that it compares 100% favorably with their newest opus _Pink_, just more succinct. Oh, did I mention they play their instruments to within an inch of their literal existences? (I don't think I've heard an amp abused as much as on _Akuma No Uta_). Wata is one wicked, original, and visceral guitarist. I could go on and on, but I'm just gonna let you buy this album; wait for it to come in the mail; put it on your stereo's highest setting (jack up the bass!!!); and feel your perception, and hence your life, change.

Try it