for all of our Japanese speaking members
at least I think it was Japanese. It wasn't english and I didn't understand a word of it
yes, that's the name of the album, New Album
some of the music was interesting
might as well have been an instrumental for me
the pros at allmusic give it a converted 2.1

from the album - Flare

released Dec 6th, 2011

from all music


Japanese cult favorite sludge/doom rock trio Boris take their name from a song on grunge godfathers the Melvins' Bullhead album. They also have a lot in common with the Melvins musically, including a fondness for heavily downtuned guitar/bass tones and exceedingly slow tempos. But they also incorporate elements variously drawn from other sources, including psychedelic rock, punk, noise, minimalism, pure sludge-drone music à la Earth, and more. Also, despite the unpretentious psychedelic/stoner rock imagery that accompanies much of their work, there is an ambitiously experimental aspect to much of it. Their albums, for example, have tended to be massive conceptual projects: Absolutego, in its original form, was a feedback-heavy drone exploration consisting of a single 65-minute track; Flood consists of another extremely long track, 70-plus minutes in length, exploring the band's quieter sides with a minimalist/phase music slant. Also on the more experimental end of their discography are collaborations with Japanese avant-garde enigma Keiji Haino and power electronics/noise legend Merzbow.

Boris formed during the early '90s and consist of guitarist Wata, bassist Takeshi, and drummer/vocalist Atsuo. They made their first recorded appearance on an obscure 1994 compilation entitled Take Care of Scabbard Fish, released only in Japan and now out of print. Absolutego, their full-length debut, came out in 1996 on the band's own Fangs Anal Satan imprint but was unavailable in the U.S. for years, a situation that was remedied when the Los Angeles-based Southern Lord label reissued the album in early 2001 along with a bonus track and new packaging. Their next album, Amplifier Worship, came out on the Mangrove label in 1998 and was also unavailable in the U.S. for several years; San Francisco's Man's Ruin had planned to reissue it in the fall of 2001, but the label folded before that could happen. A live Boris/Keiji Haino collaboration entitled Black: Implication Flooding was released by Japan's Inoxia Records, also in 1998. The following year Boris issued a split CD with fellow Japanese band Choukoko No Niwa, More Echoes, Touching Air Landscape, which also came out on Inoxia and featured Boris weighing in with a brief (for them) 28-minute contribution. Their third full-length album, Flood, was released two years later on the MIDI Creative label.

Their 2006 album, Pink, put them back on Southern Lord and featured some shoegaze-influenced sounds. Rainbow appeared a year later, with Michio Kurihara from the Japanese band Ghost contributing to the soundscapes. Also in 2007, they released a limited-edition recording of a live performance with Japanese noise master Merzbow in Tokyo entitled Rock Dream. Smile, the group's 14th album, was released in spring 2008. After extensive touring and a semi-long break, Boris returned in 2011 with two new releases on the Sargent House imprint that, while stylistically very different from one another, were released simultaneously in April: the aptly titled Heavy Rocks and the more texturally diverse and unexpectedly accessible Attention Please. The latter featured lead guitarist Wata's vocals on all tracks. In March of 2011, Boris released another full-length (number 15!), simply titled New Album, in Japan and later in Europe. It was finally released stateside with a different track listing, first as a limited vinyl run to coincide with Black Friday on November 25, then widely on CD and vinyl on December 6.

Album Review

After being silent for nearly three years, Japan's Boris returned with a vengeance in 2011, issuing three albums, all of which reappraise to varying degrees their original rep as a noise metal power trio. Attention Please and Heavy Rocks (the latter an extension of an album with that title from 2002) were released on the same day in May. Those albums were assembled from material cut for an abandoned offering. In turn, over half of New Album contains revisioned material from those records. It was issued earlier in the year in Japan in slightly different form. New Album goes one step further by combining the spacier sonics on Attention Please with the overdriven power riffage on Heavy Rocks. To accomplish this unholy marriage, the band hired dance-pop arranger and producer Shinobu Narita, who makes the most of his opportunity, glossing up the proceedings with relish and even abandon -- so much so, in fact, that less seasoned Boris fans may initially be hard-pressed to identify the band. Inspired by J-pop and its synthetic production techniques and sheeny surfaces, this mix places vocals way up front and guitars are moved more to a central rather than prominent place, save for a few tracks. It's a meld of dissonant rock harmonics, dance-pop, and indie pop, and it works -- mostly. Opening the set is "Flare," a true standout. It's the beautifully warped meeting of J-pop anime soundtrack aesthetics and propulsive rockist urgency: guitars literally crash against keyboard loops and spacious ambiences amid an infectious melody. The intense 4/4 bass drum on "Party Boy" (from Attention Please), originally colored by low-tuned bass and guitars with electronic blips, has been fleshed out with angular sketchy keyboard lines and backwards guitar riffs here. "Spoon" (also from Attention Please) takes shoegaze pop and fluffs it up with woozy cloud-climbing keyboards, with brittle eccentric sonics tacked inside, and sends Wata's vocal and guitar drifting over the top. The U.S. version of New Album replaces "Black Original" with the frenzied, brilliant, over-the-rails production excess that is "Luna." “Pardon?” is spacious and jangly, with sparse jazz-like phrases from Wata. "Les Paul 86" suffers due to its elimination of the crazy metallic guitar assault that appeared on Attention Please's original. "Jackson Head" (Heavy Rocks II) is an insistent, cracking rocker with luxuriant textures -- Wata's razored guitar solo attack and the frenzied drum and basslines of Atsuo and Takeshi, respectively, are uncut aural heroin. The set closer, the long and dreamy "Looprider," is redolent of Sonic Youth, and would have been right at home on Attention Please. Terminal hipsters and Boris' more heavy metal-oriented devotees might decry New Album as a failed experiment, but they're wrong. After 15 years, Boris are doing exactly what they should with fascinating if uneven results: testing their limits as a band and expanding their sonic horizons.

Track Listing

1. Flare
2. Hope
3. Party Boy
4. Luna
5. Spoon
6. Pardon
7. Jackson Head
8. Les Paul Custom 86
9. Tu, La La
10. Looprider