W (Sacred Bones)
Pity the poor PR person charged with selling a band called Boris in the present circumstances. However, nearly a quarter of a century and 26 albums since Boris’ 1998 debut Absolutego (excluding multiple collaborations with the likes of Merzbow), the Tokyo-based sonic terrorists sell themselves – at least to those in the know. Longstanding fans will be familiar with their penchant for collapsing genres and confounding expectations – and new album W is no exception.
W has been conceived as a companion piece to 2020’s NO, an unrepentant amp-wrecker that the trio described as “extreme healing music”. W, by contrast, is “healing music” of a more conventional kind. I Want To Go To The Side Where You Can Touch…, Icelina and You Will Know (Ohayo Version) evoke a meditative, dreamlike state through washes of drone, mellifluous hum, hushed vocals and subtle electronic manipulations.
And yet this curveball of an album from Boris has its own curveball: The Fallen, a track that stands astride the first and second halves of the record and sounds like Melvins attacking their instruments with angle grinders during a drone strike.
words BEN WOOLHEAD
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