Boredoms

Pop Tatari

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Appearing in America after an initial Japanese release, and with a revamped track listing and song titles to boot ("Bocabola" is called that here only because somebody somewhere was worried about what a certain soft drink company might think of the original title), Pop Tatari definitely holds the crown as being one of the strangest things to surface under a major label's auspices. Even the Butthole Surfers' major label debut that year looked straightforward in comparison. Starting off with "Noise Ramones," which consists solely of various high-pitched tones like those of the Emergency Broadcast System, Tatari contains some nearly conventional bits. Yet even the semi-lounge smoothness of "Nice B-O-R-E Guy Boyoyo Touch" collapses just enough, while elsewhere the screaming lunacy of fullthrottle Boremania rampages unchecked. Songs shudder to stops, launch into roaring mania and deathstomp rattle, and crunch more quickly and unexpectedly than those of just about anybody else -- no real change there, then! Add dashes of heavy funk mania ("Bo Go" would do early Funkadelic proud) along with whatever logic operates inside the band members' skulls, and the result is more cockeyed genius. Yamatsuka Eye rants above the whole mess like a man possessed, trading off with other band members in ways that practically redefine call and response. Singling out all the highlights would take forever, but "Bore Now Bore" feels like a mid-'60s frug played by berserk aliens, with some random electronics to boot, while a cover of the old Peggy Lee standard "Fever," retitled "Heeba," keeps the central riff but abandons just about everything else; the lyrics sound like they're slurred through cotton and various thrashy instrumental breaks. Concluding with the multigenre purée of "Cory & the Mandara Suicide Pyramid Action or Gas Satori," Tatari kicks out the jams eight different ways at once.

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