Boris – Dear
For 25 years, it would be fair to say Boris have earned a name for themselves as one the pre-eminent noise/drone bands in the world, let alone their native Japan. The Tokyo trio even broke through into the mainstream with their 2005 standout Pink. A decade later, just after touring the Pink anniversary shows, sees Boris return to their roots. While Pink combined riffs with melodic shoegaze, Dear – their 23rd full-length record – sees the band go back to a methodical, glacial pace.
As a clear sign towards their retrospective mood, one of the key tracks here, Absolutego, is a call-back to the name of their debut; a one-track, sixty-minute album of the same name from 1996. As a track, it is probably one of the most contagious songs here, and unlike the Earth-aping drone of their early sound, but the overall sound of the album is much closer to those origins.
While Dear is full of fun moments, it is a slog. Its fairly monotonous drone, while a defining characteristic of Boris' sound, gets rather wearisome after a while to the more casual listener. While fans will surely still appreciate Dear, and it will be undoubtedly prove a reliable behemoth live, its combination of slow-burning riffs and verging-on-cheesy, Muse-esque harmonies is nothing particularly new or something hasn't been done already better by themselves or others. Ultimately, at a drone-heavy run-time of over an hour, Dear isn't much of a fun prospect for a summer album.
Listen to: DEADSONG, Absolutego, Dystopia -Vanishing Point-