It seems like every time you turn around you see another indicator of Japanese culture’s influence on American life. From fashion to industry, the style and substance of Japanese life gets imported into the United States. What is also evident is that the Japanese borrow from American culture as well, and Boris is an example of just that. They are named after a song by heavy-music luminaries The Melvins – and they mold that influence into their own sound.
Boris’ musical output, both in terms of records released and songs written, is staggering. In the past two years alone, Boris has released more than five different records, each one different from the rest. This gets to the heart of Boris’ musical creation – there are three distinct sounds that they achieve. The first is what can best be described as heavy rock. It swings and moves like your favorite Black Sabbath tune, but Boris put their own spin on it. The next sound Boris conquers is that of monolithic sludge and doom. Songs that trudge along at a destructive pace with low-tuned guitars pummel the listener into submission. The last sound that Boris regularly explores is that of minimalist droning soundscapes. For this experimental work, Boris relies on textures and quiet changes to make their music dynamic – and they usually succeed.
Boris’ most recent record, 2006’s Pink, is an exploration of their varied musical stylings. It has straightforward rock songs, as well as droning moments, and absolutely punishing heaviness. Pink is their best album because of this varied sound; it makes for a dynamic listen. It is a proper showing of Boris’ songwriting and playing skills, both of which are put on full display when seeing them live.
Supporting Boris on the West Coast leg of their U.S. tour is Boston, Mass. band Doomriders. Featuring members of Old Man Gloom and Converge, Doomriders take their sound down a decidedly different path. Their songs feature the brashness of hardcore with the fun-loving time of Motorhead, as well as the leads of Thin Lizzy. Their music is simple and effective. It doesn’t have any pretension or “art” factor; it’s just fun rock ‘n’ roll hardcore music. Doomriders have songs about how much work sucks and lyrics about “Black Thunder” – the music is unobtrusive and not entirely unmemorable.
The pairing of Doomriders and Boris forecasts a show that is best for those who like to rock. Both bands have it in them to put on a show and together promise to bring an evening of awesome music.
Boris and Doomriders play Saturday, Sept. 14 at Satyricon. The show costs $12 DOS.