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Boris - W Music Album Reviews

Boris - W Music Album Reviews
On the minimalist companion to 2020’s NO, the Japanese trio lands a delicate balance of dream pop and drone. It feels like a sanctuary.

For 30 years, Boris have made room for orchestrated chaos and calm. From amp-blown classics like 2005’s Pink to the subdued dream pop of 2011’s New Album, the Japanese trio has leapt with peerless authority between brilliant light and brutal darkness. A companion to 2020’s trouncing NO, their latest album, W, rounds off what band members Atsuo, Takeshi, and Wata have called “a continuous circle of harshness and healing.” The result is a muted weave of exploratory minimalism: It’s the most their music has felt like sanctuary in years.

While the leveling punk of NO packed in the fresh unrest of life in lockdown, W breathes deep and plots anew. Marking Boris’ debut on indie label Sacred Bones, the music feels like a rebirth. Incorporating talc-soft textures that they’ve hinted at but never explored so fully, opener “I Want to Go to the Side Where You Can Touch…” swiftly suggests change. Folding sub-bass and a choir of sine waves with widescreen ambience evoking Slowdive’s Pygmalion, it is a perfect ratio of stacked drone and sugar-spun dream pop.

The trio has long grasped the distinction between density and mass. Like icecaps suspended above the ocean, the hulking drones on albums like Flood and Amplifier Worship seem buoyant despite obvious weight. It’s an auditory sleight of hand, drawn out in space and time. On W, this delicate balance is fine-tuned on the centerpiece, “You Will Know (Ohayo Version).” Among the most beatific songs Boris have committed to tape, thick squalls of feedback hug slinking phrases that sound teased from some alien cello-fretless bass hybrid. Across nine minutes, little separates its feelings of bliss and ill-boding.

The gossamer lead vocals of guitarist Wata, which debuted on 2011’s majestic Attention Please, have never sounded so assured. Take the Björkian “Icelina,” where syllables softly hover above globules of bass and thrifty synths, or “Drowning by Numbers,” a sinister yet vaguely seductive single that weds writhing bass with scorched guitar textures that nod to Cocteau Twins circa Garlands. Much like Kotao Tomozawa’s cover art of some eel-like tangle, Wata’s delivery is eldritch yet inviting. Even when she’s simply counting to 10 in a hushed, ASMR-like tone, the tenor of her voice is enough to dominate the band’s dusky, infernal funk.

Despite being billed as interlinked statements, and the fact that their titles combine to spell “NOW,” the through-line between NO and W is gold foil thin. From a less seasoned group of changelings, the wide berth—and narrow window—between the former’s thundering hardcore and the dusky drone pop of W might seem jarring. With Boris’ tact and loyalty to low-end, however, both albums manage to play to their strengths. On W, the bludgeoning “The Fallen” revisits their indignant brand of sludge. Conjuring Pink highlight “Blackout”—not to mention the band’s noted reverence of the Melvins—it lands a purgative curveball midway through the record. Aided by fellow Tokyo musician suGar yoshinaga on production, both this song and the down-tuned portent at the close of “Old Projector” pleasantly jolt rather than completely blindside.

“The world will keep changing,” Takeshi said in a 2020 interview. “Like a reflecting mirror, Boris will keep evolving.” As with Low’s metamorphosis on Hey What—another benchmark release from a band of indie lifers who never stop moving—Takeshi, Atsuo, and Wata have reflected abstract magic on W. Like a port in a storm, the foundations may occasionally shake, but, for the duration of the record, it feels like the safest place to hide. Whether through doom, drone, shoegaze, or beyond, Boris’ music has a restorative, unifying source: the pursuit—and occasional discovery—of something akin to pure peace.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Boris - W Music Album Reviews Boris - W Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, February 18, 2022 Rating: 5

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