Review Summary: “Attention Please” is a bit softer than some of Boris’ previous efforts, however it offers you a great blending of very catchy noise pop and some fantastic atmospheric tracks that are sprinkled on top with some experimentation.
If you are familiar at all with the Japanese trio Boris you probably know that they are known more for their sludge/doom metal efforts like "Heavy Rocks". However Boris is a band that likes to dip their feet in some experimentation and create music that some may consider being outside of their comfort zone.
After releasing their second "Heavy Rocks" record this year, the group also decided to put out an album by the name of "Attention Please" and it's not a doom record but actually more closer to something like noise pop and shoegaze.
"Attention Please" is Boris' seventeenth full-length LP and comes in at about 41 minutes. It was released May 24th of 2011 (The same day as Heavy Rocks).
The album starts out with the title track also named "Attention Please" which has very smooth guitar picking and a steady drumbeat throughout the track with different obscure sounds floating in the background. It's fairly simple but it's done in a way that builds up a good atmosphere around it. Right from the opening number, you will probably notice that Wata does the vocals on this record and it blends very well together with the sound that "Attention Please" has. Awa has a very soothing voice that echoes through the melodies and creates a serene experience, especially on the softer tracks
The album pushes on with "Hope" which is a very “shoegaze-ish” song as well as the single of this album. This track differs a bit from the rest of the album. Here’s there are constant noises and guitars going on throughout the track, comparing with the other tracks on the album where there is some more space in between the sounds. It’s a very catchy song that will probably stick in your brain right away, but perhaps doesn’t offer the same amount of atmosphere a lot of other tracks on “Attention Please” do.
Something that is quite interesting on this album is that it offers you a lot of variation; you have songs where you can clearly recognize some sludge/doom elements thrown in, take for example the track “Les Paul Custom ‘86” (which is one of the tracks that was remixed for Attention Please from New Album). Others are very upbeat and have a really solid “noise pop” feel to them and there’s also the soft and ambient tracks like “Alieron” or “You”. These are the tracks that make this album great, take the track “You” for example, which has an absolutely amazing atmosphere to it. The music carries you away to an empty field somewhere very far away, where’s there is nothing else around but you and nature. You’re accompanied only by Wata’s euphonious voice and echoes of a guitar while all the noise slowly fades away in the distance. At some points in the song, it sounds like a swarm of electronic butterflies glides through your ears which is just absolutely fantastic.
However it is the diversity between tracks on this album that make songs like that stand out, because you don’t know where the album is going to take you next. This album shows that Boris isn’t afraid to create something a bit different from their heavy sludge sound, even if those elements are clearly present on “Attention Please”.
The mixing on here is very well done. It merges the Boris’ familiar “dirty” guitar sounds and some enigmatic metallic samples with the serene and electronic sounds of different instruments as well as the clean guitar picking. Boris produced this record themselves as they tend to do with a lot of their other albums, so it feels like they knew exactly what sound they were going for and they succeeded with this splendidly.
In the end, “Attention Please” is kind of a bonus album that was released with “Heavy Rocks” that features remixed tracks from “New Album”. That being said it’s quite an amazing bonus, many will probably say that Boris should focus more on their heavy side which is what they are best at. However, I feel that it’s a great idea to mix things up a bit, since Boris is more than capable of doing so and they show that here.
They did a fantastic job on this record and it’s definitely something worth listening to if you get the opportunity for it, Boris fan or not.