Touring in support of their two recent new albums, Heavy Rocks, Attention Please, and forthcoming new album, New Album (our review), Japan’s BORIS made their return to the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, on November 12th, having played there their last time in L.A. just over a year ago.
While known for their unpredictable and sometimes unconventional style of music output (doom, noise, drone, psych rock, pop, shoegaze), BORIS are relatively straightforward within a live setting. That is not to say, however, that their material isn’t (and wasn’t) varied.
Up against several other significant metal shows in the area, BORIS put their best foot forward, opening the show with the awesome doomy rocker “Riot Sugar” off their recent Heavy Rocks album. In fact, this evenings show naturally contained a large portion of songs off their new efforts, including the poppy J-rocker “Flare” off of New Album. When the band dropped the title track off Attention Please, they introduced an odd, near dancey vibe. It was a sudden shift from within the rock context but served as a fitting segue to their excellent “Party Boy” track, which is probably one of their best written pop/rock songs.
Meanwhile, “Statement,” “Window Shopping,” and BORIS standards such as “Pink” and “1970” provided heavier metallics. And really, noise and volume is where BORIS shine. “Pink,” coming in towards the end of their set, finally got the L.A. crowd moving.
BORIS closed in typical drone/doom fashion with the 10+ minute track “Aileron” off the new Heavy Rocks album (not to be confused with the two minute version from Attention Please). Unfortunately, since lengthy and entrancing than energizing, an encore did not follow leaving for a seemingly loose ended conclusion. But such is drone.
The band are back in Japan then headed to Australia in March. Chances are good they will continue to output new material in the meantime.
Here is the setlist from the evening’s performance: