I remember first reading about Boris maybe six years ago, in comparison to ambient doom metal band Sunn O))), a group whose music is known for its molasses-like slowness and impenetrable darkness. When I actually heard Boris’ 2006 breakthrough LP Pink, I was surprised to find an album filled almost entirely with garage rock riffs and an opening track — “Farewell” — that sounded like a breathtaking combination of My Bloody Valentine and Sigur Ros. Doom metal, Boris was not.
Boris’ back catalog ranges from stoner metal, rock, noise, psychedelic, sludge metal, drone metal, ambient, and shoegaze, to pop; with “Spoon,” it’s this final category that they embody explicitly. Had I known what a diverse array of musical identities Boris fluctuated between over their twenty-something solo albums, collaborative efforts, and EPs, I wouldn’t have been so shocked when I first heard Pink. And that's why “Spoon” now seems like just another natural progression in the band’s career.
Taken from the the tautologically titled Brand New Album (which actually features older songs recreated as “pop music”), “Spoon” sounds like My Bloody Valentine might, if they decided to soundtrack a video game, with electronic flourishes and effects that sound suspiciously like a Final Fantasy sword-fight. Vocal duties are taken over by female guitarist Wata, whose ethereal, if occasionally atonal singing is high up in the mix; Even if she can’t hit all the notes, Boris give her the studio treatment of a pop star. “Spoon” isn’t so much an evolution for Boris, as it is another experiment with genre. Who knows if Brand New Album’s sounds will be recreated on later releases — what we do know is that, for now, Boris have sculpted yet another piece of gorgeous music, with a certitude that feels as if this were the only kind they had ever played.
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