Boris

Smile (Southern Lord)

After nearly a decade of making hard-to-find slabs of monolithic drone rock, the Japanese trio Boris finally edged its way into American hipster consciousness with the 2006 album Pink, a collection of psychedelic fuzz rock that matched the energy of hardcore with stoner-rock grooves and mountain-sized riffs.

The follow-up—not counting a massive box set of live recordings with noise guru Merzbow, a collaboration with Sunn 0))), the bewildering Vein EP, and a lovely pairing with Japanese guitarist Michio Kurihara—doesn’t have the same urgent cohesion as Pink. But Smile does reveal a new, sprawling side of the band hinted at in its recent collaborations. Speed takes priority over heavy, and the few passages of freak-out guitar (“Ka Re Ha Te Ta Sa Ki-No Ones Grieve” and the untitled last track, featuring Sunn 0)))’s Stephen O’Malley) are more exploratory and less monumental than on previous albums.

It’s a departure, but Boris has made its career out of bucking expectations. Some of Smile might be boring, but its best parts are as pretty as anything the band has ever recorded.

© 2008 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.