THE BEST THING ABOUT BXI IS IAN ASTBURY
No disrespect meant to Japanese doom squad Boris. Well, maybe just a teency bit… I certainly find them entertaining live, but I’ve never been able to get into their albums. But really this article is meant not to put Boris down but to praise Ian Astbury, frontman of The Cult and possessor of inarguably one of the greatest voices in all of rock. It’s hard to imagine a pairing in which Astbury wouldn’t overshadow everyone else; he’s got the absolute quintessential rock voice, often imitated never duplicated. And it gets even better with age.
So, BXI — a collaboration between the aforementioned Boris and Astbury — is a perfectly alright EP, but the best thing about it really is Astbury’s voice. I’m not sure what the writing process was like for the record, but Boris (possibly along with Astbury) have done a good job of writing music that suits Astbury; it’s got that old-school rock kinda feel as opposed to Boris’ usual fare. The production/mixing don’t do the project justice though; the recording is loose and sloppy. I’m aware that’s very possibly what BXI were going for, it’s just that it doesn’t suit these songs and it draws attention away from Astbury’s oh-so-smooth pipes. Airy, too-raw drums and often out-of-tune guitars… ick. Album closer “Magickal Child” is the best track; its slower tempo and doomy palette find Boris closer to their comfort zone and Astbury’s voice slips right in perfectly.
Side note: Axl and I went to see Billy Idol last week and the Cult’s Billy Morrison was on rhythm guitar alongside Idol’s longtime #2 man Steve Stevens. Who knew?