Mercury Rev are strange. Out of all the messy, out of control, and chaotic noise-rock albums to come out during the 90's Boces
is pretty much the craziest. Not just because it’s overly filled with feedback and distortion, but because the band will go from playing light hearted dream pop to boisterous noise-fests. The mellow guitar lines and dreamy vocal melodies will lull you in and then the band will go crazy thrashing away at their instruments blasting hard hitting guitar riffs and thumping bass lines.
Just take the first track Meth of a Rockette’s Kick
for example. The group lulls you in with David Bakers hypnotic voice and the female la la la la
backing vocals. The first part of the song resembles a demented Sesame Street theme song as it hypnotizes you with it’s whimsical beauty. However towards the end of the track Mercury Rev take you by surprise as they pump up the volume and ruthlessly pound out noisy guitar distortion. Blending dream-pop, psychadelica and shoegaze influences Mercury Rev create the ultimate stoner anthem with Meth of a Rockette’s Kick
...and that’s only the first ten minutes of the album.
Fortunately the opening track is not the only redeeming quality of Boces
. The band continues to attack their instruments on tracks like Bronx Cheer
and Snorry Mouth
where Donahues raging guitar verses dominate the vocals and bass. You just can’t beat production like this, the double dueling guitars take over the music as the vocals are buried deep in the mix. Boces
is both dreamy and out of control at the same time and that’s what gives it such a unique and interesting sound.
But Mercury Rev can do more then turn up the volume on their guitar amplifiers. Boys Peel Out
incorporates an xylophone into the music as it’s compelled by Bakers childish voice and whimsical lyrical imagery. While the tune is drastically different from anything else off of the album it does not sound out of place due Bakers trance inducing voice. The single, Something For Joey
resembles a rusty Pavement song as its scratchy guitar riffs and dreamy, summertime atmosphere takes control of you. Mercury Rev even throw in a wiry flute solo during the instrumental chorus creating another strange yet satisfying effect. Possibly the eeriest song that the band has ever composed Girlfren
takes away all the chaos and distortion that the album features and focuses on something entirely different. It showcases Baker mumbling indecipherable words over simple piano chords. Out of the ten tracks on Boces
most of them have at least a few minutes of noise filled pop but Mercury Rev change things up occasionally and experiment with their already unique sound.
If you combine the Flaming Lips, My Bloody Valentine, and the Melvins you have Mercury Rev in a nutshell. Boces
is certainly not the most accessible album out there but it sure is one hell of a trip. The intricate blend of psychadelica, metal, shoegazer, and dream-pop creates such a trippy and chaotic atmosphere that it’s hard not to like. If you want something strange and experimental or if you just want to rock out then you cannot go wrong with Boces
, the ultimate noise album.