Boris - Akuma No Uta - Southern Lord 2005
6 Songs
Running Time: 39:05


It has long been my opinion that the third album by a band (should they get that far) is the one by which their capabilities should be judged. Figure it this way; they've had years to work on that first album. Member changes, stylistic shifts, and learning the craft of songwriting notwithstanding, they pour their whole lives up to this point into that first album. Well, let's say that first album explodes onto the scene, leaving fans and label alike pushing for a second release. Suddenly, the band is under the proverbial gun. Everywhere they turn, people are asking about "new songs", and when "the new record's coming out". Under the rush to appease the fans, yet still limited by both the lack of monetary gain and material, the second album comes out. Most times, the result is damn near catastrophic. Assume it isn't, though, in this case. Therefore, by the time the band is at their third album, we should find them as seasoned veterans of both the ups and downs of the business and of the road. They should be comfortable in the studio, yet still be able to let loose onstage in a torrent of mud, sweat, and beers.

After the buzz crackling through the underground upon the release of the band's second album, Amplifier Worship, the question presented itself; could Boris do it again? Had they already shot their musical wad, only to leave us feeling unfulfilled with future albums? Or was this skipping-over of the sophomore slump just a testament to the power and fuzzed-out glory of Rock 'N' Roll as played by three Japanese seemingly untouched by the media-driven US music industry? Well, plug in, bitches...let's go! The aptly-titled 'Introduction' begins simply enough, all thrum and drone, with an everpresent hum. Much like how it used to take Jimmy Page a good half-hour into a Zeppelin show to hit his stride, Boris leaves you with the impression that they're just "feeling out" the music - seeing where it wants to take them. Shortly after the eight-minute-mark, though, all the "feeling out" disintegrates into Neil Young feedback and reverb (think the ARC portion of his Arc/Weld set). Boris is now officially done fucking around. Now, they're just going to start fucking things up. 'Ibitsu' rocks like Sweet's 'Ballroom Blitz' being anally violated by Motorhead, and damned if Boris haven't just written their own 'Ace Of Spades' played through busted heads and blown amps. The sheer violent, reckless abandon with which Boris plows through 'Furi' would put "rock'n'roll' scene darlings Bad Wizard out on their ass wondering what hit them. The spirit of early (and much-underrated) Mahogany Rush is channeled through the expansive 'Naki Kyoku', and as if that's not enough, Boris chooses this song in which to unleash the chords "U" and "K" into the annals of rock. The soaring leads over fluid, yet repetitive jamming on this twelve-minute psyche-out are the sound of FUCK, pure and simple. Male or female, if you can make it through this song without needing a cigarette and clean pants afterwards, you might as well just turn in your reproductive organs now. I would say they don't make rock like this for mass consumption anymore, but Boris do. After the makeout session that is 'Naki Kyoku', the straightforward garage stylings of 'Anno Onna No Onryou' may seem a letdown, but I think of it more as that just-spent feeling. The title track brings the album to a close, beginning with the clanging of a gong of all things. Hey, it's funny to me; what can I say? Intentionally humorous or not, the sludge-driven thunder of 'Akuma No Uta' crashes headlong into what sounds like Blue Cheer after a week-long boozefest, tired as Hell, but unwilling to stop slamming out riff after inebriated riff.

With Akuma No Uta, Boris establishes itself as the most 70s-rock-influenced of the Southern Lord family. Bands like this are the reason The Strokes and Jet wake up trembling in fear.  

www.southernlord.com/boris.html


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