BXI : Boris & Ian astbury

BXI is a collaborative EP by the Japanese band Boris and The Cult lead vocalist Ian Astbury.


The four Boris tracks on BXI
EP are among the most concise and powerful in the Japanese trio's
catalogue. For more than a decade, Boris have moved seamlessly from
rigorous thrash to colossal drone to soaring psychedelic metal; but
those two qualities-- concision and power-- have often been mutually
exclusive. These four tracks, however, each feel like a condensed epic
that allows the band's love of dynamics and development to find
thoughtful focus. And then, over it all, former Cult singer Ian Astbury
croons about animals and witches. Yikes.

The brisk, confident rock punch of the Cult often swept Astbury's
histrionic vocals inside. Tracks like "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Love
Removal Machine" guided his bombast, never letting him shine too long in
any particular spotlight. On BXI, Astbury treats his position as
the temporary leader of one of the best, most interesting rock bands in
the world like a bully pulpit. During opener "Teeth and Claws", Boris
teases again and again, lurching forward just to ease back the volume.
Astbury takes the empty space as an invitation to merely roar. Closer
"Magickal Child" opens beautifully, with electronic hum and drifting
chords; when the band explodes in a haze of cymbals and distortion,
Astbury leans back to belt some blend of Wiccan and New Age ideals in a
stagy, lachrymose delivery.

Ultimately, BXI-- "Boris multiplied by Ian," we can presume--
is one of the most ignorable releases for a band with nearly a hundred
of them. It's not a complete waste, though, neither with regard to the
songs themselves nor with what it might mean for Boris' future. Again,
the playing is excellent, and when Astbury backs away from the
microphone, Boris sound masterful. Guitarist Wata leads the quartet
through a cover of the Cult's 1985 hit "Rain", and her soft, wispy coos
offer the perfect contrast to the band's rhythmic maw and suffocating
guitars. Boris capture the march of the original take perfectly but send
it spiraling through the final minutes.

The negative flipside to Boris' eclectic approach has been a tendency
to make records that feel like mixtapes, records without a real aim
(see 2008's Smile, especially). But the material on BXI
proves that, just as they're able to devote an album to resplendent
drone, they're as capable of crafting an album of relatively
straightforward though still imaginative rock'n'roll. Maybe it took Ian
Astbury to show them they could do it; here's hoping that, now that we know, they no longer require his imperial, aggressive British lead.


Catalog: 
Price: 10.00€


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