Review Summary: The new Boris EP could easily be the soundtrack of Bill Murray’s and Scarlett Johansson’s nightclubbing in Tokyo in Lost in Translation movie.
It’s strange, but the new Boris EP reminded me of that Sophia Coppola movie back in 2003, Lost in Translation. The film features Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson as two people from the western world, stuck in Tokyo with lots of spare time and literally nothing to do. In order to fight their boredom, they delve into the Far East culture, during their long day strolls in Tokyo. The true highlight of the movie, for me at least, is their final nightclubbing scene sequence. Being dressed like crazy teenagers, our two friends swarm out to the Tokyo nightclubbing frenzy and become one with their Japanese friends. The latter give our friends a generous and sincere embrace.
The new Boris EP could easily be the soundtrack of Bill Murray’s and Scarlett Johansson’s nightclubbing in Tokyo.
This EP is the first token of collaboration of Boris with the icon singer from Cult, Ian Astbury. Baring in mind the vast Boris back catalogue and the diverse portfolio of their fruitful collaborations with other artists, this particular one may be seen as a full surprise. Indeed, one might even ask whether there is common ground between the band’s unique musical attitude and the vocal performance of one of the best rock singers, walking the face of the earth.
Hopefully for Boris and their diverse fan base, the answer to that question is affirmative. This time, Boris decide to wear their psychedelic, gloomy post-punk/shoe-gaze heavy rock costume to honor and welcome their guest from the west. Adjusting in full to the distinct nature of their guest, the band limits its quirky convictions in terms of song writing, so as to give the proper room for Astbury’s vocals to blossom. However, the songs are not completely stripped of the strange voices and the guitar sound effects that the band endorses through thick and thin.
Astbury’s vocals are an unexpected, yet wonderful surprise. Words and expressions are poor to describe his deeply emotional performance in “Teeth and Claws” and “Magickal Child”. In “We Are the Witches”, he brings to the table some of the stuff that made him a rock n’ roll icon with Cult. However, he is not the sole singer here, as guitarist Wata lends her ethereal vocals in the Cult cover song “Rain”, a mid-tempo musical mesmerism.
The band’s notion to limit its quirky nature is reflected on the sound production as well. The sound of the rhythm section is surprisingly clean, yet loud. As for the guitars, although their noisy effect is toned down a bit, they transmit the same familiar feeling, when compared to the band’s previous efforts. Astbury’s vocals production is perfect, adding a lot to the overall effect of this EP.
All in all, this EP stands as another interesting effort for Boris in their endeavor of exploring new aspects of their sound. Some things this band says are lost in translation, however a whole lot more are gained, as the journey never ends...