The growth of the Japanese band Boris' popularity in America is a perfect example of life imitating art. Their songs—droning metal scapes that can last over 45 minutes-- start with the merest hint of sound and then build to high, layered crescendos of noise.
Boris has been around since 1992, but only really gained a foothold in the states after Southern Lord began reissuing their catalog here. A successful appearance at South By Southwest this year also increased their profile in American music press, who adore them. So, like their songs, they have been lurking quietly in the background and have slowly but surely increasing their volume here over 15 years.
This was apparent at their Amoeba in-store early in October. The place was packed with long hairs, noise geeks, and anyone else who wanted to spend their Saturday afternoon going deaf. "Akuma no Uta is the best album ever!" yelled someone from the crowd as the band took the stage.
The band's three members, Atsuo, Takeshi, and the only female member, Wata-- a mother and could be seen carrying around her toddler who was wearing airline-grade ear protection—calmly got behind their instruments and began playing what would end up being one drawn-out song for nearly 40 minutes. It started as a slow steady background drone, then began to soar and climb with skittish metallic sounds that could only be described as "bubbly." At times it sounded like a jet beginning take-off, and by the time the drums kicked in and the main crescendo took hold, there was little doubt in the room that this was one of the best bands on earth.