(First posted on http://www.recessiondodgetovictory.wordpress.com on 02/03/2011)

Disclaimer: As with all my music reviews, this is a blow-by-blow account taken from my own perspective and written mostly for myself as a memory aid. I’m not always an expert on the band in question.

If the Boredoms soundcheck was anything to go by then the Boris one wasn’t going to disappoint either. As they set up behind curtains, myself and the great co-conspirator played a game of “Name what that instrument sounds like.” Favourites included the drum-kit snare that sounded like a frying pan across the face and The Most Evil Bass In The World(tm), which we decided sounded like a slow motion punch to the gutleading us to conclude that Boris as a collective would be an aural form of domestic violence. In truth though, that bass sounded like rape in slow motion – yes, no joke, it was that nasty. I want one.

I had heard their album ‘Pink’ before and I was expecting good things on the basis of the sound check and the smoke-machine cloud billowing out from under the curtains. The first song wasn’t anything like the sound from the recorded CD. In fact, it made me want to delete the files from my computer and try to relive the experience of the live versions from memory. Here’s why:

When the curtains opened, the aforementioned smoke and an electric blue light oozed out into the room along with this sonic wave, which would’ve been a roar if the notes weren’t so melodic. At first I didn’t notice but when I think back on it, upon hearing the first few notes my head jerked back as if a truck or a train had passed by me just a little too closely. Soon my head was nodding on autopilot in time to every thundering note change. I can’t help but feel that even now my words can’t capture the sensation of that first song, which went on for what felt like 10 minutes. When it ended I felt like I’d lost something; I couldn’t even clap.

They followed this up with 70s-fuelled rock and roll, which although it got me into the more active crowd at the front, it didn’t really get us moving.

After two rockier songs they cranked up another side of their arsenal and shifted into a slower, groovier bass-driven song and switched vocalists to match this, only to change tone again as quickly as they had before, with the drummer – who could’ve easily been straight out of the 70s with hair, make-up and jowls and all –  putting a full stop on the groove by smashing a massive gong set up behind the drum kit.

For their final epic piece they powered out a long drone-metal piece a la the likes of Sunn O))), whom I found out later they worked together with on an album. I left before they finished in an attempt to catch the start-up of Stage 2 which was hosting Keiji Haino, Envy and Melt-Banana on it, and to find my co-conspirator who had beat me to the punch on that.

Clearly, Boris aren’t just defined by the one album I had heard prior to the gig but I couldn’t help but feel that given the short time they played, they tried to show off their musicianship across the spectrum that they are capable of rather than set a mood and stick with it so the crowd can get into the flow of things. Of course, at an experimental ATP event, you’re not going to please everyone in the crowd, but I felt they should have stuck to one aspect of their music and showcased that instead.

Having said that, and having heard their variety of music, I’ll be snatching up as many different Boris albums as possible to find out what I like most of theirs, which all goes to show; what the hell do I know about putting on an array of music?

Here’s the only video I could find of the first song and naturally the sound quality is pretty rough considering the sheer volume it was played at. Hopefully though, it can give you an idea of the feeling I described above:

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