thu 13/06/2024

Album: Boris - W | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Boris - W

Album: Boris - W

The Japanese doom metal / dreampop trio on the form of their lives

This is just boggling. The Japanese rock trio Boris have been together in the same lineup for over a quarter of a century – and it’s longer still since their original formation – but they’re outdoing themselves record by record. Their last record, NO, was the most energetic record they’ve ever made.

Where they’re best known for floaty dream pop and sludgy, doomy, lava-flow-like noise churning, NO is a 1000mph fusion of thrash, punk and classic metal, a glorious rage against a world of fear and torpor in the COVID age. And now, only six months later, comes another album, and in dramatic contrast to its predecessor's helter-skelter frenzy it's perhaps their most poised and finessed yet. 

W starts rarefied. The opener “I Want to Go to the Side Where You Can Touch…” threatens to turn into sludge metal with its drones and slow drumming but is actually so strung out it becomes ambient. The next three tracks are the kind of fusions of advanced WARP electronica with guitar textures one imagines Thom Yorke dreams of at night and forlornly tries to replicate in the future. Then, with “The Fallen", the crushing doom guitars properly kick in – but even here there are minuscule digital glitches, huge dub echoes, and generally a sense that the band is entirely in control of the entirety of the sound from micro to macro. 

Elsewhere they out-My Bloody Valentine My Bloody Valentine on a couple of tracks that fuse the dreampop with the doom, and there’s bleak ambience agogo throughout. Dua Lipa it ain’t. But for all the darkness, it radiates a vivid love for sound itself: that sense that everything, from the tiniest textural detail to the most tectonic underlying structures, matters, and so do the relationships between all those things. For a band this far into their lives to be so consumed by the desire to make new and remarkable sounds – and find ways to do it – is just glorious. And so are the sounds. An instant classic.


Listen to "Drowning by Numbers":

But for all the darkness, it radiates a vivid love for sound itself


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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