Scraping Genius Off The Wheel

WITH NEW SINGLE, BORIS BID ADIEU TO METAL

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Earlier last month Southern Lord announced a new trio of monthly Boris seven-inch records entitled Japanese Heavy Rock Hits. The first “volume” came out last week, and fans of the band’s droning metalscapes will almost assuredly be disappointed considering its official description:

The first 7″, Volume One, “8”, features two newly recorded tracks. On Side A, the title track “8” continues the spacey hard-rock sound established on their classic albums Pink and Smile, building from a mono, lo-fi wall of feedback into a ripping, slab of lush vocals, crunchy guitar and thunderous drums. Things get switched up on Side B with “ねえエヴリワン/Hey Everyone”, a chewy bit of power-pop bubblegum that sees the band mining a much lighter source for their sound. It’s a reminder that the most daring thing this band can do is record something so straight-forward it could easily be misconstrued as “alt-pop”. Dont fret its still got a dark core and is unmistakably Boris! Gorgeous tip-on, heavy-weight cardboard jacket designed by Stephen O’Malley.

I, on the other hand, am loving this new single, arguably the most accessible thing the Japanese trio (and erstwhile quarter with guitarist Michio Kurihara). As a fan of the aforementioned albums, I’ve always been more drawn to Boris’ hard rockin’ side moreso than the artsy doom metal side. Some people shrugged off last year’s Smile, derisively dismissing it as “hipster metal.” Those people are totally fucking wrong. However, I can’t fault any of them for not liking Japanese Heavy Rock Hits. The above teaser video is a fairly accurate representation of “8,” which is like “Statement” on a dangerous sugar high fueled by massive amounts of Pocky. “Hey Everyone” is a quite radical departure from the Stooges-esque sound that has made Boris such a crossover success, but it might actually help them reach an even wider audience.

Volume One is now available in vinyl and digital formats. The second installment of Japanese Heavy Rock Hits will come out later this month, with the third one following in November. No word yet on whether or not these will ultimately be compiled into a full album.

-GS

[Gary Suarez was holding an umbrella. He usually manages the consistently off-topic No Yoko No. Say, why don’t you follow him on Twitter?]

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