Review Summary: Boris put everything they've done before into a blender, but sometimes the juice blend isn't as sweet as the fruit it came from.
It's been a relatively quiet two years since the famous "Year of Boris," when the Japanese experimental rock band dropped three very different albums on the world. 2012 saw a couple of neat splits, but it wasn't until about a month ago that Boris announced a new album for 2013. Boris' 18h studio album Präparat
is a little bit of everything they've done before, kind of like a retrospective or a greatest hits except that most of the tracks are brand new. Präparat
is a fun retrospective, but what it gains from variety, it loses from a lack of continuity.
starts off soft with the post-rock-esque instrumental opener "December," before exploding into the droning guitar chords of the second track "Elegy," whose vocals and lead guitar parts sound like they'd fit in on a My Bloody Valentine record. At around the three minute mark of "Elegy," the track briefly shifts into this beautiful melodic guitar line, which then shifts again into the final section of the song, a flurry of furious drums and mellifluous guitar chords that put the cherry on top of this delicious hot fudge sunday of a track. Easily the most interesting track is the heavier than balls "Bataile Suere," whose ultra drop tuned guitars and extremely unsettling whispered vocals gets my blood flowing, but unfortunately very few tracks on Paparat
have this effect, with the easy on the ears post-rock type tracks dominating the record.
The variety of genres implanted on the ten tracks of Präparat
is its biggest strength and its biggest weakness. At first, the infusion of post-rock, shoegaze, drone, and sludge provides a fresh listening experience, but towards the second half of the record it results in a lack of focus and cohesion, a problem that previous records like Feedbacker
and Heavy Rocks
did not have. Boris have spread themselves thin in a way, it's not all that satisfying having to breeze through all these different styles in only 40 minutes and it would have been nice if the album was longer and allowed these style to develop more. The two tracks "Evil Stacks 3" and "Perforated Line" both run at under one minute and always leave me wanting more. Even worse is that "Method of Error" is the only track that crosses the six minute mark, a far cry from the epic 12 minutes duo "Missing Pieces" and "Aileron" from Heavy Rocks II.
All of this genre hopping and the short runtime result in Präparat
coming off as more of an appetizing sampler than a full bodied Boris experience.
is a strong enough record, but it's certainly far from Boris' best. It serves as a nice little teaser of the eclectic style Boris have crafted over 18 studio albums, but it fails to capture the immense magic of records like Feedbacker, Flood,
and Akuma No Uta.
Many of the tracks have a lighter than usual atmosphere and fail to match the grit of previous Boris greats, making for a nice but frustrating listen. Präparat
is the perfect record for someone looking to get into Boris, but unfortunately it may not be strong enough to impress a well versed fan.