BORIS: PRÄPARAT (2013)
1) December; 2) Elegy; 3) Evil Stack 3; 4) Monologue; 5) Method Of Error; 6) Bataille Sucre; 7) Perforated Line; 8) Castle In The Air; 9) Mirano; 10) Canvas; 11) Maeve.
I do not know why Boris decided to give this album a German title, considering that it was only released on vinyl in Japan. Maybe they wanted to raise their fellow countrymen's awareness of the peculiarities of German orthography — a rather superfluous task, given how most Japanese were already fans of Motörhead (oh well, at least Präparat is actually a real German word, unlike most of the orthographic perversities of the metal bands). Maybe it was a hidden tribute to their country's allies in World War II, and we should actually sue the band for hitherto undisclosed Nazi sympathies. But most likely, it was simply one more typically Boris act, completely devoid of any meaning other than a random blast of wind could blow into it.
A brief runthrough. ʽDecemberʼ is a quiet, barely noticeable «post-rock» instrumental, supposedly mood-setting, but it's hard to hear anything in the first place. ʽElegyʼ is like a bad And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Boris noise track, plenty of feedback, mad drumming, and hushed psychedelic vocals that never take any distinctive shape. ʽEvil Stack 3ʼ is one minute of feedback from Jimi Boris, overdubbed with aeroplane noises or something. ʽMonologueʼ (which is anything but, featuring quite a bit of polyphony) is Godspeed You! Black Boris rolling out a slow, steady crescendo that ultimately fails because the dominant theme contains no interesting musical ideas. ʽMethod Of Errorʼ is Boris Vai and it is actually cool for the first fifteen seconds — they did not invent that particular metallic tone, but they know how to use it to swallow you whole. Problem is, they swallow you for seven minutes, and always in the same way.
Side two opens with ʽBataille Sucreʼ, Boris Sabbath finally pummelling out a monster metal riff that I cannot «visualise» — it does not display a whole lot of invention, though I guess the whole thing is not half bad as far as second-hand art-metal goes, and is probably the best of this entire lot. ʽPerforated Lineʼ is forty seconds of My Bloody Boris churning out melodic noise rock that appears out of nowhere and goes to about the same place. ʽCastle In The Airʼ is two and a half minutes of Badly Drawn Boris playing a distorted waltz on pump organs, digitalizing it, corrupting the sound track with a virus and symbolically infecting your mind as well. ʽMiranoʼ is five minutes of Radioboris where Takeshi is trying to convey the sadness, misery, and ennui of the world with an OK Computer-style delivery, and I honestly do not recommend exposing yourself to this. ʽCanvasʼ is five minutes of Lou Boris paying tribute to Metal Machine Music — certainly not for the first time. And finally, ʽMaeveʼ ends the album on a brief Kraftboris note, with electronic pulses, wind blasts, and an overall feeling that maybe these guys would like to advance the coming of the final doom in some way, but fortunately they just don't know how.
In other words, we're back to thumbs down territory here: even if the album is pretty diverse, most of this diversity once again downplays Boris' greatest strength (noise control) and yet still tries to be in the «artsy» / «experimental» ballpark rather than continue their semi-successful toyings with «accessible» pop and hard rock structures that made the 2011 albums tolerable. Mostly just bland, derivative, boring, and useless — «unlistenable» only when Takeshi begins to sing like Thom Yorke, but at this point, I'd rather expose myself to «unlistenable» Boris than boring Boris, because at least nasty failures give you something to talk about.