Anyone familiar with Japanese power trio Boris knows; they cannot be pigeonholed into one sound or genre. Mabuto no ura is no exception. But this release throw a very wicked curveball, instead of their staple crushingly dense sound, they do something quite different. On Mabuto no ura, they discard most of the crunch in favor of a relaxing more elegant clean sound, that dabbles in post rock.Mabuta no ura which in English means "Backside of eyelids"
is written as the soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist. Well it exists but only in the minds of the members of the band.
This album starts the same way a lot of Boris album starts, with oscillating feedback and ambient noise, but things quickly die down and make way for the lightly plucked guitar found through out the rest of the album. The newly found clean sound is well done, and fits the "sleepy" mood of the album well, these are good songs to go outback lie in the hammock and relax to. While the new relaxed sound is enjoyable, they don't completely discard the old crunchy sound, A Bao A Qu
is a complete reworking of an older song, that starts of light and eventually morphs into a dirtier more "Boris" sounding track while never detracting from the dreamy atmosphere of the album. The playing on the album is well done as is any of there previous albums, it has a nice loose and relaxed feeling to it, with the mostly clean guitar, and very "earthy" drums, while not a show stealer the bass is great on a few tracks like"It touches"
and "Your name"
As enjoyable as the record is, it has its faults, for one, some of the tracks never really get going. I know Boris is a band who has mastered the art of the buildup and for nothing to happen is a bit disappointing. Some of the songs are just simple plucked guitar, like, The Slow Ripple of a Puddle
and The Middle Of The Stairs
while enjoyable, and helpful to set the mood. After a few spins, without a climax those tracks really feel kind of tired after a while. Another problem is that the album seems a bit patched together. Some parts don't really flow, which is one thing I really enjoy Boris for, also some of the ideas seem half finished and just seem to cut off. These faults though somewhat large don't really take away too much from the enjoyment of the album.
While a bit patchy at some parts, and a little dry at other. This is a very enjoyable album that is a great pickup for any fan of Boris. If you are just getting into the band this isn"t the best place to start. Even with its faults I still greatly enjoyed listening to this album, and think it deserves, a 3.5 out of 5.
A Bao A Qu