I’ve been out of the Metal loop for some time now, mostly because it’s become this undifferentiated lump of tedious riff-o-rama and boo-scary cookie monster vocals from guys grunting about the Debbil being in their bowling league (and the pins are the souls of the damned!) or something equally asinine. Don’t get me wrong – it takes a lot of skill to play through a bajillion chords in lockstep like that, but for me it’s just not all that much fun to listen to.
However, that doesn’t mean that I have totally forsaken the Heavy end of the music world. No. I like the crunch, and I’m a natural-born sucker for what the kids are now calling “stoner rock” (although if I ever catch up with the chump who convinced me that High On Fire were anything other than sub-Metallica wheeze-mongers, he’s gonna wish he had an actual demon or two to call upon in his hour of darkness, ‘cause that shit ain’t stoner rock in the least).
So it is that I come before you today to say thanks to the creatures at Southern Lord for putting out two of my favorite records so far this year: Earth’s The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull and Smile, by Boris. I realize just exactly how late I am in jumping on these particular bandwagons, which just goes to show that I’m sincere.
If I thought in terms of Album of the Year, that Earth disc would be top of the heap as of now. Metal it’s not, but it is most definitely heavy. An airy sort of heavy, to be sure, if that makes any of sense. It’s a slow, molten afternoon on a rock in the desert, breathing through your eyelids like the lava lizards and waiting for something to die so’s you can eat without the sun (which seems like it’s about five feet away from the top of your skull) broiling you completely. Or something. Anyway, it’s real good, you betcha.
As for Boris, I’ve avoided them up until now for the same reason I’ve stayed away from Earth – they’ve always been pegged as this sort of slow drone-y sludge. And maybe that’s been the case in the past. I couldn’t say, since both of these records I’m writing about are my first dips into those respective bands’ pools. What I can say is that Smile reminds me of nothing so much as the best of what was happening here in Seattle in the late 80s – early 90s, only sung in Japanese so I have no idea what they’re on about. It’s fun music, loud and moist and fertile with anti-Vampire Weekend microbes. Touch it, it’s sick.
And on that note, I sign off to go pack for our annual “Flee the Blue Angels” exodus (movement of Jah people). We’re off to Brinnon as soon as is humanly possible, so it’ll be quiet here (metaphorically speaking) until next week. Aloha.