Album number three for 2011 from Tokyo’s BORIS proves to be the best of the trio. Originally meant to be a Japan-only release, New Album includes six songs from Attention Please and Heavy Rocks, which were released earlier this year plus three exclusive songs and one song that has previously been released. Before you decry that New Album is just three new songs with seven previously released songs slapped on, you should know that New Album is an entirely unique construction.
Teaming up with producer Shinobu Narita, the band produce a diverse collection of ear candy. Every song is given such vivacity with layers of synthesizers, effects pedals, filters, and other assorted instrumentation to create a very euphoric, imaginative, and creative whole. The team has carefully given each song the type of rearrangement, enhancement, and/or embellishment needed to make it extraordinary. Some songs feel like distinctly Japanese off the wall video games while others are straight up goa trance meets rock, or are exercises in blast beats with half time bass drums meet euphoria.
As far as the six songs that also appear on Attention Please and Heavy Rock, they exist in different forms/feel/versions on New Album. Essentially, they have been supercharged to fit the playful, experimental, and trippy nature of the album. Rearrangements or alternative instrumentation can be found in these versions. Arguable, they sound better and more stimulating here than in their original basic forms.
The four new songs are excellent as well. For example, “Flare” opens the record and not only has excellent arrangements but is a great opener with its multitude of rockin ways. The superb tracklisting also greatly helps them the listening enjoyment of not just these songs but all 10 songs. The diversity of the material is also another strength.
As with any BORIS record, there are different songs for different versions released in different territories and New Album is no different. Yup, they love to torment collectors.
Cohesion, amazing production work, and solid songwriting are truly what make New Album a fantastic album and a shining gem in BORIS’ stacked back catalogue. Highly recommended. (Sargent House)