Monday, 9 August 2010

BORIS and Ian Astbury - BXI (Southern Lord)

An adventurous move from Japanese rockers Boris and legendary Cult front-man Ian Astbury. Their alliance has created a finely-crafted four-song mini release, simply entitled ‘BXI’. Crossing the bridge between the post punk pseudo-mystical sounds of the Cult to the more ambient sometimes unclassifiable doom rock genre of Boris.
As the record unfolds it seems like this collaborative effort have been writing together for years, it feels so natural. This is exactly what the live music industry needs, more of an injection of - two artists with a vast discography to boast about from different parts of town rock ‘n’ roll. Releasing this EP is a perfect break-away infusion of distinctions creating the illusion that they must have all played together in a former life.

‘Teeth and Claws’ is a gritty opening track as Astbury’s vocals are on top form here with a real sing along style chorus, as the mind bending guitar notes and distorted palm muted fuzz thrash out a fast paced hard rock composition. With what seems to be a Japanese child talking at the end of the song; my translation skills have now escaped me!

‘We are Witches’ possesses a heavy guitar intro, homogeneous to a Cult B side with strong, melodic vocal harmonies, a wandering guitar solo with a pounding drum beats echoing throughout the epic finale.

Track number 3 is the cover of the Cult song ‘Rain’ with Wata opting to sing lead vocals. Although her vocals would not be considered as powerful as Astbury’s it works as more of a harmonious version, with the middle 8 breaking into a cracking ‘Boris style’ solo welcoming back previous guitar player Michio Kurihara into the band.

Final track of the EP is ‘Magickal Child,’ a stark contrast between the ambient drifting fuzz guitar work and Astbury's soaring vocals, the tremendous drums kick in and the bass so deep it's shaking the light fixtures. This is the atmospheric doom sound Boris must be so proud of. The hall like reverberation effect on Astbury’s vocal take nothing away from his clear diction and well pronounced lyrics.
There’s some special work put into ‘BXI’, a fine effort, hard working and bridging a hard rock gap creating something bold and brave. All parties enjoyed the session so much so that they hope to continue their work together on a forthcoming tour, so watch this space.

Words : Joe Head

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