Boris
Smile


3.0
good

Review

by Neoteric USER (86 Reviews)
June 16th, 2008 | 42 replies | 13,970 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: disappointing release from a band brimming with potential

Boris are certainly a creative little group, with an extremely extensive back catalogue only going back ten or so years. One can be sure that after so many releases in such a short span of time Boris would dry up creatively? In short terms, no. It is a fair statement to say that Boris have never made the same album twice. From their early drone material to their ambient masterpiece “Flood” and more presently, their fuzzed-out rock sound, Smile shows that Boris have not only reinvented their sound but have also kept remnants of the past.

Smile brings something to the table that Boris have never really dabbled in, this is the addition of electronics. The album starts off with a build-up but weirdly does not erupt into any madness; instead, the sound is contained and creates something new for the band. Some of the tracks go off in swirling rock directions ala Pink but half of the tracks here are more akin to electric synths. Something people may wonder is, are the addition of synths positive or negative to the band’s sound? In many ways, it is both; they give Boris more room for experimenting and expressing their artistic vision but many times it seems to curdle the enjoyment of the listener. Smile is sadly a tedious listen, and that’s down to the band maybe getting too caught up on specific ideas. The addition of synths is a surprising addition but its inclusion never creates any moments of profound beauty. Nothing on here stands up to the mighty Flood III, the long, beautiful feedback of Feedbacker or even the ingredients that made Pink just a generally cool album to listen to. At this point in the bands career, Boris have a chock load of unnecessary dawdling that really did not need to be there. With more surprises and parts, Smile could be a strong, solid album.

Long songs are usually a drag unless they are kept at a constant interest. Weirdly, most of my favourite bands cherish long songs and use the format as a way of creating perfect art. While Boris certainly aren’t new to drawn out epics, it is evident that they need to check up on their technique. The songs don’t have enough parts in them to be this long and thus creates an anxiety for the listener to skip songs.

After painting this LP in such a negative light, I feel sort of guilty. While, as I said, Smile lacks those moments that made their previous efforts so special, this is not entirely true. Smile certainly does have moments, the problem is that the moments aren’t that special and merely just keeps the album afloat, lacking the profundity of their previous efforts. Though this might be a bit harsh, as in all truth, Boris have the potential to make a complete classic and Smile came as a disappointment. But if you can get over this sense of disappointment, you’ll soon realize that Boris have a lot to offer as a group, even though what is offered might not be necessary. At the end, Boris will no doubt keep you smiling.



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user ratings (155)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Neoteric
June 16th 2008



3243 Comments


resubmit

Zebra
Moderator
June 16th 2008



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I feel essentially the same way you do about this. It's not a horrendous release by any means but compared to Boris's usual standards it just isn't very good.

sweboy
June 16th 2008



17 Comments


This album is like many Boris albums in the sense that the quality is pretty inconsistent; some tracks are great but some tracks are pretty bad. The shorter, pretty boring stoner rock/punk songs, Buzz-In, Laser Beam and Statement, in my opinion constitutes the weakest part of the album, while songs like "Flower Sun Rain" (a cover), "My Neighbor Satan" and "No Ones Grieve" probably ranks among the finest of the band's work in the melodic field. I think this is better than "Pink", which has three awesome tracks ("Farewell, "Blackout", "Just Abandonded My-Self") whereas the rest is pretty mediocre.

The guitars sound great on this album, both scorching and screaming, and the guitar work by both Wata and Michio Kurihara is really sweet. Kurihara's epic sun-aiming at the end of "Flower, Sun, Rain" is especially mind-melting, and this album confirms his position as one of the finest cat stranglers around at the moment.


Aficionado
June 16th 2008



1027 Comments


sweboy needs to post more on the review site

kattunlover69
June 16th 2008



1194 Comments


wdf sweboy with a semi intelligent statement?

TojesDolan
June 16th 2008



272 Comments


Don't be dicks, people.

Anyway, I dot this a while ago but haven't listened. Will give a try eventually.

TojesDolan
June 16th 2008



272 Comments


BTW Derek there's a fucked up tag there, you might want to take a look at it.

Aficionado
June 17th 2008



1027 Comments


no I was serious
sweboy needs to post more on the review site, he has some really insightful things to say.

Neoteric
June 17th 2008



3243 Comments


thanks tojes ilu

Odal
June 17th 2008



334 Comments


I agree with sweboy completely. This album is really inconsistent with some really awesome stuff, but also some really mediocre stuff.

Kiran
Emeritus
June 19th 2008



5992 Comments


[quote=kattunlover69]wdf sweboy with a semi intelligent statement?[/quote]

irony

ValiumMan
June 26th 2008



493 Comments


Have you listened to the Jap version of this? I think it's worth getting for the alternate version of Statement alone, which sounds like some sort of underground dance music played on rock instruments in a bunker. Freaky.

HenchmanOfSanta
July 25th 2008



1649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm listening to this album right now (Japanese version). It's only my 2nd Boris album, but I thought Pink was pretty great so I figured this was another good rocky album. But so far, it is indeed pretty tedious and extremely inaccessible. There are occasional great moments, but overall it's just a little excessively noisy. I'm only just starting Next Saturn.

HenchmanOfSanta
July 25th 2008



1649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Also, what's with the drum tone on this album? Everything else about this is so loud, yet the drums are really low.

Elixirs
October 13th 2008



93 Comments


the us version is so much better

Royd Rage
October 18th 2008



419 Comments


i have the american version...i agree at times it's a bit too much on the heavier stuff. the slower melodic songs are amazing though. tbh these songs don't all belong 2gether,it is almost like 2 seperate albums in 1...This Message Edited On 10.18.08

Royd Rage
October 18th 2008



419 Comments


...and someone should write a review 4 the jap version as well.

Roach
October 27th 2009



2149 Comments


Might not be one of Boris' better releases but it's still pretty great.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 3rd 2010



5611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I totally disagree with the rating and the summary.

It's better and far more consistent than Pink for example.



Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

Powerban
July 3rd 2010



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

agree with sumary. this is no feedbacker or heavy rocks. pink isn't that awesome either.



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