Boris - Pink (Cover Artwork)


Pink (2005)


It seems Boris has really been getting slurped lately, perhaps somewhat to my surprise as to from whom, but nonetheless, it's nice to see the continual emergence of the band from their isolated beginnings. For better or worse (and usually for the better), Boris seems unavoidably tied to Japanese noise music (at least for me), which is unsurprising considering how many collaborations they have done with various noise artists, including Merzbow and Masonna. For those who haven't heard Boris, though, their own material is unlike either of these artists, as Boris tends to bring the structural form into these musical collaborations. As for their sound, it always struck me as the type of music these very same avant-garde musicians would throw on when they wanted to both rock out while also being inundated with some sludgy metal. In either case, Pink represents the most all-around and complete album Boris has made, incorporating numerous elements into a piece that often bounces back and forth between slow, droning pieces and balls out, noise-infused rock. For this reason, it often comes off as their most accessible record, but even so, the interactions and movements add further depth to it and require closer listens to delve deeper into the music.

There are two outlooks offered on Pink, both of which blend surprisingly well, mostly due to the chaotic elements infused in the more aggressive portions which blend well with the more atmospheric pieces providing a temporary reprieve. The opener (which has a Japanese title) is well over seven minutes, and features an atmospheric intro leading into droning guitars and flat, distant singing. Immediately following this is "Pink," which gallops along aggressive guitar lines that squeal in the background behind the singing, which is once again obscured. This song sets up the next two, the first of which is incredibly infectious thanks to a great bass line. The song builds appropriately into a screeching guitar and howling vocals, which sets up the further addition of noise elements into the next song, which is drenched in distortion. This song features more distorted and aggressive vocals, which fit the added noise. Following up on these three aggressive songs is yet another drone piece, which trudges along slowly for around 5 minutes, slowly building in the yell vocals. Songs such as "Electric" will undoubtedly grab attention and garner the accessible title for the album. It's short and instrumental, being catchy without overly aggressive. The rest of the album shows a good mixture of the two styles, including an impressive 10-minute closer that combines both.

Pink offers a lot of contrasting elements, none of which should be surprising for fans of Boris, but here they expand many of these elements to work together and produce an album with some surprisingly catchy moments adjacent to drone metal tracks. The whole works quite well, providing stretches of upbeat, well structured rock with more downtrodden and atmospheric songs. Boris has been putting together good amalgams of metal, drone and noise for sometime now; it's good to see their exposure is finally growing to match the strength of their catalogue.