Boris

Pink

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Pink is a new-phase Boris album. While it contains all the noisy, heavy, unhinged guitar aggression their earlier records do, they combine those here with focused accessibility and a garage rock obsession. On the opening track, "Farewell," one can hear so many un-Boris-like traits -- a bit of Ride and My Bloody Valentine shoegaze here, a bit of post-rock Isis (originally influenced by Boris!) there, slivers of Sigur Rós, Nadja, Jesu...one wonders if this set is a send-up that proves they can do all of this better. But the obvious references are part of the appeal of this glorious slab of molten din-rock. Elsewhere, the trio weds raucous, riffing speedy metallic whomp to the garage rock trash aesthetic of Guitar Wolf. Atsuo's rim shots match in triple time Wata's low-string, downtuned, freakzoid riffing and the squalling throb of Takeshi's bass. Fuzzed-out, ripped, and torn and shredded riffs and propeller kit work take Boris to an entirely new level of "heavy" here. "Woman on the Screen" sounds like Iggy Pop fronting the MC5 in the Sunn O))) era in two minutes and thirty eight seconds. "Blackout," a crawling, plodding, menacing scree of distorted bass and bluesy high-string electric guitar, is reminiscent of their earlier records, like 1996's Absolutego. "Pseudo-Bread" jams together red-zone distortion with thrash and speed in high-rocktane metal. The 18-plus-minute "Just Abandoned My-Self" employs each of the album's musical and production elements used up to the moment. Beginning as a metal burner, it explores texture, noise, and sonic blur in a plodding tempo for the first third. It evolves slowly. Wata's guitar playing feels incidental to Takeshi's more propulsive crunch bass drone. They both spiral but function inside controlled noise abstraction until about 12 minutes. The squall continues in a slow fade until only the sound of microtonal feedback remains, blasting everything into silence. Pink is easily the most cohesive, adventurous, and "listenable" recording of Boris' career to date. While it sounds like it was consciously made with American audiences in mind, its appeal is much broader. Sure, they've added accessibility, but this band's noisy experimental appetite remains ravenous.

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