Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boris: Heavy Rocks (2011)


Heavy Rocks (2011)Love them or hate them, you have to admire Japanese experimental rockers Boris for doing whatever they want. And whatever they want is two things: (1) being incredibly prolific, and (2) being incredibly unpredictable.

Heavy Rocks is the second album from the band by that name. It's also the most metal-oriented of the four full-lengths they've released so far this year. All in all, you could call this sludge metal, but as with any Boris release, any simple description is woefully inadequate.

The album title is perfectly appropriate for cuts like "Riot Sugar" and "Galaxians", rock songs played with a sludge metal sound. Other times, they seem punky ("Jackson Head"), thrashy ("Czechoslovakia"), or poppy ("Tu, la la"), and of course they remind us that they are still the masters of drone ("Aileron"). Despite the varying character of the songs as written, a consistently fuzzy and heavy sound keeps the record cohesive. I'm not sold on the breathy clean singing you find in places (notably "Leak -Truth,yesnoyesnoyes-"), but otherwise, this is a fantastically interesting release, and a pleasure to listen to.

The Verdict: OK, so the album is no Pink--I doubt they'll ever record anything as amazing as that again--but it's one of the few Boris albums I feel comfortable recommending to my fellow metalheads. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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