Boris has earned its rabid cult following for their ability to expertly harness music as power. Be it psychedelic metal, colossal drone, blistering punk or distortion-ravaged shoegaze, a Boris song is an exploration of sound as physical mass. The Japanese trio's classic 2002 album, Heavy Rocks is a landmark of their mastery. So, it's fitting that the group's new album sharing the same title and very similar artwork to that disc, this year's Heavy Rocks seeks to redefine "heavy" music in a culmination of the band's tireless efforts over the past two decades. Heavy Rocks (2011) is beyond heavy, it firmly establishes Boris as the pillar of innovation and integrity in guitar-based music.
Heavy Rocks opens with fitting aplomb as a driving drum beat catapults a thunderous drop-tuned guitar riff headlong into the Sabbath meets Eddie Hazel pummeling of "Riot Sugar" (featuring guest backup vocals by Ian Astbury). Boris' bristling thrash meets ethereal psychedelia ("GALAXIANS", "Window Shopping") and lush, languorous nearly 13-minute songs "Missing Pieces" and "Aileron" navigate explosive quiet/loud dynamics with inventive use of song structure and emotionally-wrenching melody. Heavy Rocks is at once both a reinvention of Boris' magical ability to combine elements of myriad genres as much as it is a return to form, expanding and developing on the ideas explored on the original 2002 Heavy Rocks album.
Boris invited some very, uh, heavy friends to contribute to songs the album, including longtime collaborator and Boris' touring second guitarist Michio Kurihara (Ghost), Ian Astbury (The Cult, BXI), Faith Coloccia (Mamiffer) and Aaron Turner (Isis, Mamiffer, et al.) It's worth noting that all of them tracked their parts in Tokyo, not via file transfer.
Some of Heavy Rocks (2011) originated following Boris touring the world in 2008 in support of their last album, Smile. The trio set about recording new material and an album was completed, then abandoned. The band sought to challenge themselves further, and the end results are two new albums of dramatic growth and the most powerful extension to Boris' unparalleled creativity, the all new Heavy Rocks (not to be mistaken for their earlier 2002 release, Heavy Rocks) and Attention Please.
Boris formed in the early 90s as a four piece just-for-fun endeavor with the sonic template of influences like Melvins and Earth. By the time of its 1996 debut as a trio Absolutego (later released in the US via Southern Lord in 2000), Boris had already hit its stride in creating unique ground-rattling heavy, melodic music. The group, bassist/vocalist Takeshi, guitarist/vocalist Wata and drummer/vocalist Atsuo went on to release nearly 20 studio albums, as well as numerous collaborative albums -- including projects with Merzbow, Sunn0))), Ian Astbury and Michio Kurihara of Ghost -- EPs and singles on various labels throughout the world. For a further in-depth band history and discography, please see HERE.
Heavy Rocks (and its counterpart, Attention Please) will be available worldwide on LP, CD and digital download via Sargent House on May 24th, 2011. The vinyl edition of Heavy Rocks includes different, extended versions of "Missing Pieces" and "Czechoslovakia".