Boris

Smile (Southern Lord)

After two years of touring and recording with sunn0))), Ghost, and Merzbow, longtime Japanese psych-prog band Boris is back with a double album. Regarding its last, mind-melting sludge masterpiece, Pink, the band has no comment, instead offering eight formally bounded songs bristling off-kilter with gonzo effects and absurd pop girl/guy vocals. As released in Japan, the album was mixed "experimental," but for the U.S. it was mixed "rock," which, if anything, must mean more compressed.

Take "BUZZ-IN" for example: A shrieking baby gives way to fuzz bass and distortion boogie rock punctuated with skate-punk-anthem screams and big, ugly drums somehow hidden below strands of reverse reverb guitar and other psyched-out novelties. The single "Statement" is even more straightforward — a Blue Cheer verse/chorus/wail led in by cowbell count — which to Boris's Jesu-loving, Pink-won fans will be more alienating than the bleakest isolating metal doom it could have conjured. Smile brings back the inconstant, occasionally brilliant Boris weirdness.

 
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