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BORIS

Photo by Daniel Grant

Photo by Daniel Grant

Mt Mountain/The Pissedcolas
Rosemount Hotel, North Perth
Monday, June 1, 2015

Boris have proven they really are true chameleons. Logging in 23 albums in 19 years is no mean feat by any standards, but adding to that their ability to meld seemly disparate influences into one beast is another. It’s been three years since this Japanese trio came to our shores and a lot has happened in that time, including five solid records – Praparat (2013), Noise (2014), the end to the Solomon series (2014) and the 2015 trio, Urban Dance, Warpath and Asia. That is an insane amount of new material, even for this prolific outfit. So it was expected that this set would be completely different in every possible way from when the Rosemount Hotel stage last played host to this ambitious band. And they didn’t disappoint.

The Pissedcolas were definitely an interesting support choice. Making waves for the past year or so, they’ve made their name by playing fuzzed out and psychedelic tunes – instrumentals lightly peppered with Spanish vocals. But these Perth locals aren’t actually that far off the headliners, in terms of their modus operandi. Splicing stoner-esque rhythms one minute before jumping to moodier moments or spazzed out art rock the next – they’ve been labelled as “proto-punk”, but they are so much more. Adding to this was the recent addition silent fourth member to the band, providing the noisier elements on the synth, and these guys couldn’t do no wrong.

Mt Mountain kept the atmosphere building. Experiencing this WA outfit live is almost shamanistic. Reaching altered states of consciousness, transcending all forms of energy, deep moments of meditation leading to ecstatic highs – all the elements are there. This five-piece holds your hand as they take you down a heavy winding path, with Steve Bailey’s haunting vocals acting as your guide. Each performance just solidifies how great this band have become. There is only one more thing to ponder: where to next?

The air filled with glitchy sounds as Boris took to the stage. In a remarkably different performance from the last time they were in Perth, where they played Flood (2000) in its entirety, they shifted perceptions yet again.

Playing a set comprised almost completely of material from their Noise release, the uncompromising force of this trio live is literally a whole body experience. With the sweet innocence of Wata’s (guitarist) vocals signaling the opening chords of Heavy Rain – nothing could have prepared for just how crushing this track is in the flesh. The sheer heaviness of each chorus felt like the world was coming to an end – not even the album itself does this song justice. And I think this is where their recordings always fail; no stereo can capture just how their presence and sound ‘feels’ in the moment. There is a certain perfection about it, despite all the flaws.

From the mind-warping slow guitar solos, to the harmonies from Takeshi’s double necked bass/guitar and the thunderous crack of Atsuo’s drums – every note carried weight. Ending off with Vomitself (1998), Atsuo’s threw himself in the crowd and returned just in time to finish with a series of gong blasts amid the distortion.

JESSICA WILLOUGHBY

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