2011 was a case of another day, another Boris record. “Attention Please” is their 17th studio album and they continue to do whatever they feel like, which appears to be either a good thing or a bad thing with no in between according to most commentators.
In this case, the metal has given way entirely to dreamy pop with some moments of lighter droning, feedback and sludgey noise. Guitarist Wata takes the singing honours this time and although quite cute in small doses, she does not have the voice to lead a strong vocal record. For a band built on an eclectic sound that can really only be called “Boris-core”, the capacity to hum and dance along to some of the well-crafted bubble-gum pop songs is unexpected.
The songs translate well live and when I saw Boris play a few weeks ago fans seemed happy with the small number of tracks from the record, but it was the old metal sound they were really there for. And this is surely the role of this record. Instead of releasing a double album with the songs of “Attention Please” and the simultaneously-released “Heavy Rocks” shuffled through the decks as they are in a live performance, they are kept separate. It’s a the relief you get between the Boris records we come to expect without having to shift to another brand. Music for your Boris mix tape.
Back to the record itself and the songs work well together with a gradual shift in sound that shows what nearly twenty years of tirelessly making music teaches you about track ordering. I did fall asleep a couple of times when I got to track six – “You”- but I was on the train home from work both times so it could have been that. In any case, I got woken up by “Les Paul Custom ’86” and “Spoon” which both make some noise and rock out well.
The thing that stands out more than anything is the fun that Boris obviously have making and performing music, and that makes a huge difference. You can get all serious and analyse this record in depth, or you can just go with your instincts, smile, and accept it for what it is – fun. In their own words (and imagine I’m holding up a bottle of Kirin) “Cheers for good work”.