/diwphalanx; 2005/


Some time ago i was talking with a friend and we were wondering if there were decent guitar records released this year. I mean, rock records that actually rock. We came up with a few (Sleater Kinney, Wolf Parade -even though it's more of a keyboards record-, Art Brut, The Fall -even though it's more of a bass record), and some nights ago i was at my record-store-clerk-friend's house and we watched Queens of the Stone Age videos while our girlfriends were busy chatting about things we didn't really pay attention to. And what came out of it is that the Queens of the Stone Age clearly aren't what they used to be. I already knew that but there it was right in fornt of my eyes. My Girlfriend and I came home drunk and a bit jaded and then we had sex.

One morning, while i was listening to morning-friendly records (Amandine, The Clientele) I took upon myself to try to find what that "new" japanese band named Boris was about. I downloaded Akuma No Uta which hit me like a real fast car with no brakes, guitars everywhere, heavy metal riffs, - i had another talk with another friend about the label "stoner" and how all those stoner bands are doing heavy metal- and everything in the red. They sound like Motorhead, The Melvins ("Boris" is the name of a Melvins song) and, according to my friend who is quite the stoner fan, Acid King. Eyes all spaced out and a big smile on my face, i choose to download "Pink", their latest album, which has only been released in Japan so far.

It starts with a song that's halfway between Envy (an awesome japanese screamo band) and My Bloody Valentine (you know them). Walls of guitars, a tight, drowsy voice, etc. Then awesome riffs start to fall on Fujiyama. Boris is a three-piece, a guy with one of those double bass guitars, a girl on guitar that plays those vulgar, manly riffs, and a drummer who has to beat his way through the songs (he's quite low in the mix sometimes). The songtitles are mostly in japanese and i can't read kanji. The bands manages to keep the pace and the quality stable throughout the record, allowing themselves to finish it with a ten minutes epic stoner track (let's call it "Bomb Hiroshima Once More") that never goes slow like those stoner tracks played by men on acid. It's one of the heaviest songs i've heard all year, it reminds me of Trail of Dead for some reason, but i really have no idea why. It starts fast, keeps on staying fast and never ends. Like Cat Power's "Willie Deadwilder," except it's heavy metal, there's solos, screaming, and it actually gets better and better. "Bomb Hiroshima Once More" makes me admire the drummer for staying tough throughout the song and never missing a drum, even going berserk towards the end. The guitars sound awesome, halfway between your typical "hot gravel" sound and e-bows. Also, I have no idea what they're singing, but it sounds unbelievably good, it's probably the best lyrics sung in years, decades or even centuries.

My girlfriend's ex looked at me with a strange look on his face (it's hard to find out your ex girlfriend is now dating another girl) when i bought Akuma No Uta (He thinks i only listen to brit pop bands -maybe it's the haircut).

Best rock record of the year, no doubt, and of next year, too (it will be released worldwide by southern lord in March 2006, but it's available on some mailorders and amazon stores if you look hard enough and are willing ot pay the price).

-Barbara H

/december 2005/