Amoeblog

Boris: Back to Black with a foggy new dronathon and super limited double-live LP.

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 30, 2009 12:21am | Post a Comment
Boris live at Amoeba Berkeley
Japan's reigning purveyors of thunderous heavy rock, Boris, hit the shelves of Amoeba San Francisco's Underground Japanese Rock section with a one-two punch this winter with their latest studio recording, Cloud Chamber (featuring, once again, guest Ghost guitarist Michio Kurihara), and Smile -Live in Prague-- a very limited (only 425 copies issued) double-live LP "official bootleg" recorded (with permission) in the Czech Republic on the trio's latest tour in support of their album Smile. Though both are pricey, as doubless many a Boris fan has already guessed, both are worth shelling out the exra dough for, as many a Boris fan surely already knows. Here's why: Cloud Chamber is a first class return to the strom and drang style doom that fans of (lowercase 'b') boris have found in previous releases like flood and at last -feedbacker. It is just the sort of storm surge of sound that lays defenseless listeners down as if prone on the slab, hypnotized for sacrifice; beware of drowning. Smile - Live in Prague, on the other hand, has garnered more pointed attention for its sleeve art than for the bounty of copies we've recieved, given its inherent rareness. Some call the artwork, an obvious homage to San Francisco black metal band Von, a flagrant rip off. I find it delightful and, really, par for the course considering the lengths Fangs Anal Satan (Boris' art-working name) goes to produce, or reproduce if you will, some of the most coveted, kick ass packaging that drives both sticker prices and collectors' expectations upwards of the norm. Here are some of my favorite of Boris' artful tributes as, the old adage says, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. (And check out images and reviews from Boris' amazing three Amoeba instores-- they've played each and every Amoeba -- here, here and here.)

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BORIS

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 20, 2007 11:32pm | Post a Comment
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.

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