A horrible hack


Boris At Last - Feedbacker

Year Released: 2004
Format: CD
Label: Conspiracy
Reviewed by Kunal Nandi on Jun 13, 2007
Boris never fails to blow my mind, both metaphorically and physically. The absolutely obscene vibrations emanating from my shagged speakers just before the 4 minute mark of this, another of Boris’ excursions into the realm of the really fucking long song, really set me on edge. Boris have been here before, with wildly different approaches but equally amazing results. Eight years ago, “Absolutego” (described by Earth’s Dylan Carlson as “like two slugs fucking”) was a deliberately challenging statement of intent, completely feedback drenched, with a violent and brutal middle section of screaming and thundering instrumentation. “Flood” conversely presented the listener with abstract swathes of ambient noise, perfectly in keeping with the aquatic theme, before soaring into an uplifting, joyous and, most importantly, tuneful section of epic rock. You could perhaps place “Feedbacker” somewhere between these two “tracks”.

This starts out with ten minutes of loud, droning, minor chords, thrumming with warm distortion, before the drums start to tinkle a slow syncopated beat. Things build and build to an almighty crescendo, before settling in time to introduce the nicely sung vocals, and then it builds into another loud section, all crashing cymbals and screaming, yet controlled, feedback, plus the customary mean motherfucker of a riff. Then the rocked-out bit kicks in in the most beautifully hefty manner, with Wata truly going off on one in her search for the ultimate freak-out guitar solo whilst Atsuo and Takeshi bash away in the background. That descends into complete chaos for a while before “Feedbacker” ties itself up nicely with a return to the central motif in the coda.

If that dry description sounds like they’re just doing that slow build-up to big payoff to slow ending thing over a period of time that reeks of gimmickry, then ignore me. The flow to this thing is so natural; it’s like the fucking Nile. This isn’t simply a long song made up of acts and scenes. It works totally as a single entity, with each note relying on the one before, beautifully setting up the one ahead. Maybe the wuss-rock fan in me still goes for “Flood” over this, but there’s no doubt as to who is the most ambitious, hard-rocking and straight-up best band in the world right now. It’s Boris.

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