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Music: Boris

Boris is a Japanese experimental heavy rock band. The band formed in 1992 and released their first album Absolutego in 1996. Their early sound is steeped in drone and sludge metal, styles to which they have continually returned throughout their career while incorporating other styles such as hardcore punk, noise rock and psychedelic rock.

Boris has amassed a vast catalogue of studio albums, EPS, singles, live albums, compilations and collaborations. Notable studio albums include Absolutego (1996), Flood (2000), Heavy Rocks (2002), Pink (2005) and Heavy Rocks (2011). They have a confusing habit of releasing different versions of their albums depending on format and/or country of release. The 2011 Heavy Rocks is not an example of this, but actually an album of new material that is linked to 2002's Heavy Rocks by title only.

Present Lineup:

  • Takeshi - vocals, bass, guitar
  • Wata - guitar, keyboards, vocals
  • Atsuo - drums (1996-), vocals
  • Michio Kurihara - touring guitarist (2007-)

Past Members:

  • Nagata - drums (1992-1996)


Tropes present in Boris' work include:

  • Bilingual Bonus: Some of their song titles are in Japanese, some in English. Lyrics are typically Japanese with the occasional English phrase. The US releases of some of their albums feature translated lyrics in the liner.
  • Cover Version: "Flower, Sun, Rain" by 60s Japanese prog rock supergroup PYG, with Kenji Sawada as frontman.
  • Epic Rocking: Some of their albums are just one really long song, such as the 70 minute Flood.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: It's unlikely that even Japanese speakers can catch every lyric in the faster numbers.
  • Lead Bassist
  • Loudness War: Boris' CDs are some of the worst victims of the war. Even some of the vinyl records are horrible offenders.
  • New Sound Album: Quite a few by virtue of the fact that their albums are based on whims rather than concepts and their sound expands rather than evolves. Heavy Rocks (2002) saw the band move beyond its sludge origins to include faster numbers; Attention Please was a complete left turn, an experiment in dance-rock.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Averted by Takeshi. Not only does he also handle most of the vocal and lyrical duties, but he plays one of those guitars that are, like, double guitars, except the top one is a bass. How can you not love that?
  • Old Shame: Pink is one of the band's best loved albums, but they don't like it. They've dropped the songs from their live sets besides playing the title track regularly and occasionally giving "Farewell" a go.
  • Only One Name: Both band name and members go by only one name.
  • The Pete Best: Nagata, appropriately enough, their first drummer.
  • Rock Trio
  • The Smurfette Principle: Wata
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Takeshi took over lead vocals from Atsuo in 1996. Wata handles all the lead vocals on Attention Please.
  • Titled After the Song: Boris takes its name from a song by The Melvins.

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