Boris
Noise


4.0
excellent

Review

by ZombicidalMan USER (17 Reviews)
June 11th, 2014 | 86 replies


Release Date: 06/17/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: More riffs than you can shake a chopstick at.

In recent years, Boris have continually proven that they still have it. Never content to stick with just one sound, Boris have always added new ideas and styles into their albums, often with great success. After 2011’s so-called Year of Boris, it was clear that the band was capable of dabbling in more traditional metal with Heavy Rocks II, electronic-tinged music with New Album, and even light hearted pop with the Wata-led Attention Please. In 2013, the (mostly) Japan exclusive Praparat saw them shifting to a more typical Boris sound with hints of their 2011 albums scattered throughout. Now, in 2014, Boris have once again returned to the scene with Noise; but is it another drastic departure in style, or simply a retreading through past works?

In fact, Noise seems to be somewhere between “new” and “old”. This is the most obvious combination of styles that Boris has ever put out, not content to choose one or two genres, but instead mix together nearly everything they’ve dabbled in. Look no further than the guitar work on Noise for evidence of this. Many of the riffs, especially on Vanilla and Heavy Rain, have a slow, thunderous, plodding sound, reminding me of both classic Melvins and early Boris. The songs range from the usual fuzzed out sludge of Boris to pop songs reminiscent of the New Album, with heavier synth use than ever. On Noise, Boris have returned to the early sounds which fans have come to love (like the drone in Quicksilver), but instead of simply retracing their steps, the band has managed to add enough new style to please those familiar with newer Boris albums.

Typical Boris has often been only a few instruments present at one time, especially on albums like Feedbacker and Flood. On Noise, the instruments are densely layered, with guitar and bass working together underneath vocals, two or three tracks of lead guitar, and background synth. This creates a much more textured sound that Boris has been working towards, and on Noise it seems to have come full form. Taiyo No Baka takes a more lighthearted and basic approach with dreamy guitars, punk-inspired guitar and melancholy vocals. It’s no surprise to see Boris dabbling in other genres, but on Noise the change is more apparent, with most songs embracing several styles.

While vocal duties have always been shared by the members of the band, Takeshi has usually taken the lead and Atsuo on backing vocals. Perhaps the years have caught up to Takeshi, because Noise features clean vocals on just about every track. It’s not until Quicksilver that Atsuo unexpectedly unleashes some harsh vocals, only to have Takeshi jump back to cleans just as quickly. More input from Wata would have been welcome to Noise as well. She has proven herself an interesting vocalist on Attention Please, New Album, and in BXI, but on Noise, she is limited to a handful of lines on Heavy Rain, which manages to be a standout track.

Sadly, some songs end up as filler. For instance, Vanilla sounds a little too familiar to me, while Ghost Of Romance teases us with interesting drum work and haunting guitar, but never ends up going anywhere. Most of the album does succeed in holding your attention, like the epic Heavy Rain and furious Quicksilver. Angel is quite possibly the masterpiece of Noise, a post-rock epic calling back to Feedbacker. Perhaps the largest problem the album has is that it doesn’t feel as unique as Boris’ past works. The sound on Noise is certainly a new one, combining classic Boris sludge and new Boris style, but at the same time it can feel like a rehashing of material.


Ultimately, Noise is a great album. Sometimes it stumbles with empty tracks, and while it may display a huge amount of material, it plays it safe sometimes. Noise manages to blend the Boris recipe just right and achieves what it set out to do: it's a hugely enjoyable release from the Japanese trio, which has compressed all of their sounds from the very start. For all the moments I was left wanting more, I was also given a wild ride on a different track that made me forgive and forget the lesser moments. Possibly their strongest work since Pink, Noise finishes more like a “Greatest Hits” than a cohesive album - and I'm okay with that.



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user ratings (208)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ZombicidalMan
June 11th 2014


2475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

six's review was great, I think we feel the same way. But I wanted to throw in my two cents

oltnabrick
June 11th 2014


35199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review!



This album could possibly be my AOTY.

Digging: Brainbombs - Souvenirs

MO
June 11th 2014


20963 Comments


fuck yea, album is so solid

ZombicidalMan
June 11th 2014


2475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I feel like over the next few weeks I could bump this up to a 4.5, but that might just be my Boris bias kicking in

SCREAM!
June 11th 2014


13810 Comments


Need more listens before I choose 4 or 4.5. Could still go either way. It's crazy how one band can do everything and rule at it all

TheBarber
June 11th 2014


3353 Comments


can't wait to get on this album, pre-ordered

Digging: Bestial Mouths - Heartless

TheBarber
June 11th 2014


3353 Comments


quite a hard read tbh, you lose your flow and pacing by wanting to cover to much ground, review needs a little more cohesiveness and incisiveness

ZombicidalMan
June 11th 2014


2475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I ended up writing as I listened instead of doing so after. I always write longer that way. Any suggestions are welcome, and I'll be going through later to get rid of mistakes/trim it down.



I still need to order my copy too

FadedSun
June 11th 2014


1538 Comments


My vinyl shipped, so can't wait to listen in better quality. Didn't care much for the NPR stream quality so I stopped the album half way through.

Yeah - the review was a bit long winded, but good read anyway. Not sure if I agree with Attention Please being "j-pop" though.

Spec
June 11th 2014


31846 Comments


racist summary neg

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 11th 2014


7187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The output of this band in terms of quantity and quality, is not of this world.

Digging: Varsovie - L'Heure et la Trajectoire

ZombicidalMan
June 11th 2014


2475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I cut out quite a bit, I hope it reads better now



Can't decide what my favourite track is either, but I think it's between Angel and Taiyo No Baka

Spec
June 11th 2014


31846 Comments


Yeah this is really good as expected. Gonna be busy jamming new music all day.

chitownflip
June 11th 2014


173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

New Boris, new non-hip hop release to listen to...

Check

Thane
June 11th 2014


2252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is so good. so much good music this week. i like the cover for the japanese release way better though

eternium
June 11th 2014


16354 Comments


Duh. Cats.

ZombicidalMan
June 11th 2014


2475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

in fairness this one does have a cat, too

zaruyache
June 11th 2014


13914 Comments


I listened to the first like four or five songs and nothing seemed very interesting to me. I'll try it again later but I don't have great hopes. :/

Digging: Imbaru - Vigias

LordePots
June 11th 2014


32197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

More riffs than you can shake a chopstick at.




pos'd

Digging: NZCA Lines - Infinite Summer

ZombicidalMan
June 11th 2014


2475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

idk it clicked with me the first time. It's definitely worth a few listens anyways, just in case you grow to enjoy it



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