With an experimental band like Boris, you never really know what to expect. One album they may do a drone like sound (Altar with Sunn O))) from 2006), and another album they will use rock/metal (Smile from 2008), to come up with another album with more of a poppy sound not too soon after (New Album, Attention Please from 2011). This makes Boris interesting and fun, because you never know what to expect from them.
3. Ghost of Romance
4. Heavy Rain
5. Taiyo no Baka
Noise starts off with a nice and calm intro, which was very misleading. As Melody starts, it sounds like a happy pop rock song, but this is not quite the case. Not soon after the music has started it becomes a lot more heavy and loud. A nice build up.
When Vanilla comes up, I hear a guitar intro, something that is familiar in Boris their music. The track sounds pleasant with a nice pace, but it still stays pretty calm for a long time. This chances after a while when the instrumentals come into play more and the track transforms into something a little heavier.
As we get to the third track, Ghost of Romance, I get the feeling that I was misled by the title of the album. Noise is not quite what I would describe the music to be like at this point yet. Ghost of Romance is a slow song with some high and low vocals from Takeshi, combined with beautiful guitar play from Wata. The guitar gets the full attention later when Wata puts his guitar in distortion and plays a wonderful solo. Everything about this track just feels right.
In Heavy Rain, they chanced up the vocals for once. This time it’s not Takeshi, but Wata that sings, led by heavy guitars and drums to make the song feel grand, heavy, and slow. At one point the instruments even seem to top Wata for a moment, but this fits Boris their sound perfectly, and at the end of the track I finally got the “Noise” feeling I was hoping for at the start of the album.
When Wata is done singing and gives the vocal spot back to Takeshi, they continue with a pop rock track that is an easy sing-along. I can visualize a whole venue full of people chanting along with the Wo-oh Wo-oh-oh’s of the song. The track, Taiyo no Baka, may sound like a short and weird song. But with a title that translates as “Sun Idiot”, it might not be that weird at all.
Angel starts off with a long intro with a slow build-up of instruments, leaving you at the edge of your seat with tension. But with a song that is almost 18 minutes long, I wouldn’t want anything else than that. Some people may argue that 18 minutes is way too long for a track, but for Boris this is normal, with some songs like Sun Baked Snow Cave and Absolutego being almost an hour long. The long track is perfectly made for the guitar solos of Wata. The song ends with a gong sounding in the background, something they always have standing behind the drums during lives. Again the ending gives me a little of the “Noise” feel, but is soon taken away again when the track ends calmly again.
Quicksilver was the teaser track for the album, and as teaser it sounded very promising. After hearing the final product, I was not disappointed in the least. It’s a hard and heavy track with grunts and screams balanced out with good instrumental backup. It has a great pace, making me want to headbang. The song ends with a loud “Noise”, making it something typical Boris.
Time for Siesta! After a heavy song like Quicksilver, a calm down from the album feels in place. And Siesta does the job quite well. It suits a nice afternoon nap in the sun making the album whole.
Boris is a band that you just have to see live. The album didn’t leave a good impression on me at first, mostly because I was expecting more of them. The music is good and well composed. They are typical Boris tracks, and I’m certain that when I would hear them during a live, I would think of Noise differently. I’ve seen the band live a couple of times and think that they fully come to their potential when on stage. I really hope they’ll come back to the Netherlands at the end of the year!
The album is available worldwide through iTunes and can be bought on both CD and vinyl through Hello Merch or Sargent House. You can follow Boris on their official website, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Or you could listen to them on Bandcamp.