Monday, October 26, 2009

Rainbow - Boris (#6, 2007)

Like the musical act this particular list is aiming towards, Boris seems like a band that I should like, that I could like... but it just hasn't worked yet. Really except for Rainbow (2007) - recorded with Michio Kurihara, Japanese guitar-noise demi-god and member of numerous other bands. Notably Ghost, whose Hypnotic Underworld (2004) I highly recommend. But Boris' brand of droning, sludgy, psychedelic doom usually misses the mark for me. This one proves that maybe it's actually me missing the mark.

"Rainbow" from Rainbow (2007)

O there's drones here, including the opener "Rafflesia" [live], but so much more... The title track (embedded above) floats along, all ghostly vocals and understated groove, until Kurihara inappropriately breaks out the fuzzbox overdrive. Boris never flinches. The vocals on this record seem a bit more diverse, along with the music styles. Up next is "Starship Narrator" (below), which cruises on a Krautish pulse with a baritone chant until the singing part kicks off. Then Michio takes command and steers it back into the Fuzz Nebula. That's why he's the co-pilot.

I was a little surprised there were missing songs on YouTube. Boris fans seem like the thorough type. So, the next four songs are on a couple of home-brewed videos (not necessarily my best work). "My Rain" is a miniature, lyrical guitar interlude with a back-masked rhythm. Leading into "Shine"... a somewhat droney but also more musical number with a very cool smoldering, slow-burn front section.

"You Laughed Like a Water Mark" is my favorite Boris song I know. Musically, it's got a similar foundation as "Rainbow," cool and easy-going. But the breathy female voice is replaced by fairly melodic male vocals, and the fuzz lead is more in the groove. I added as much of "Fuzzy Reactor" as would fit, but had to cut a bit off the end, so consider it a bonus track [edit]. A nice sound, actually reminds me a bit of Dragontears, which is high praise indeed.

And the final song (except for the 14,000 alternate versions' bonus tracks), "Sweet No. 1" starts out simultaneously funky, spare and noisy. Then busts out with some Earthless-worthy free-form heavy-guitar jams, alternating with agitated rock-star vocals. Seven minutes of mayhem! It is awesome.

As I mentioned, there are several different formats and releases, with different bonus tracks. I think the coolest is probably "Olhei Para O Vento Varrendo As Nuvens (I Looked Up at the Wind Sweeping Clouds Away)" from the Japanese 2xLP version. It's a 20+ minutes of low-register guitar-amp noise/feedback, building up to some distorted but restrained noise. If that's your sort of thing...

Beyond Rainbow, I would definitely suggest reading about different albums before buying. Boris and Kurihara collaborated again on a two-epic LP, Cloud Chamber (2008), but it appearss to be more experimental, noise-y, and super-rare.

Official -
Myspace -
Purchase - All That Is Heavy
iTunes - Boris

Genre - Epic Shoegaze Experi-Metal
Review - Pitchfork

No comments: