Friday, October 21, 2011

Show review: Boris at Metro, 10/19

By Andrew Hertzberg

(Photos: Shannon Aliza)
It only took until the third song for the mosh pit to come into full effect Wednesday night at Metro. Opening with "Riot Sugar" from this year’s Heavy Rocks (not to be confused with 2002's Heavy Rocks), the sludgy and heavy yet snail paced rock of Boris put the crowd in a trance, until "Statement" from Smile, with its 1-2 cowbell countoff into a Stoogesesque guitar moan, before dropping off into a droning lead-in to "Attention Please," 4AD worthy dreampop off this year’s album of the same name. The four piece were all clad in black (with long hair to match), the most charismatic being drummer Atsuo, situated between his pink see-thru drumkit and a giant Zildjian gong, bouncing between fast paced beats and jazz-like fills, likewise providing background whoops and hollers and general crowd interaction. Takeshi held onto his double necked bass/guitar combo and took lead for the more ferocious and moshpitable songs, with Wata behind the keys and providing her vocals for the dreamier tunes.

For those who weren’t at the show, you might have noticed a few keywords that stood out within contrast to each other. You see, the Japanese band is generally boiled down to the drone/doom genres of metal, but they certainly branch out into the other areas as well. The group can just as easily elicit the band in which they took their namesake (the Melvins) as the dynamic post-rock of Explosions in the Sky or even the slowcore catharsis of Red House Painters. Amongst the other thing you should have noticed from that first paragraph, Boris have two new albums out this year, with a third on the way for our shores (New Album was released in Japan in March). The three albums find the band at the most diverse and most divisive, spanning a multitude of sub-genres to create an unpredictable listener response.

Zigzagging between shoegaze walls of sound with more aggressive metal jams, alternating male and female vocals while also yelping random whoops and hollers, Boris will keep you guessing. Nowhere was this better examined than in the set closer of "Aileron" (the Heavy Rocks (2011) version, not the Attention Please (2011) version…stay with me). What started out as an innocently appregiated guitar lead soon exploded back into the droning noise with cavernously reverbed vocals and back again several times. Our fellows in the aforementioned moshpit were certainly confused (especially after such upbeat pieces as "Pink"). Maybe that’s what led to that one dude choke-slamming someone and subsequently being taken care of Metro security. Hell of a night.

More photos after the jump


Check out more show reviews:
Dastardly presents 'Catastrophe' at Hideout
Smashing Pumpkins at the Riviera
Smoking Popes at Double Door
Danzig at Congress Theater
The Drums at Subterranean

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