Where We Come From is summer Friday music, riding-
In the savage world of rocanrol, complexity can be damning. Genre-eclipsing musical complications are antithetical to rock’s core values. That caveat didn’t stop the prog rock's progenitors—or their progeny—from birthing a beast as lauded as it is laughed at. Japanese outfit Boris' new album Noise deftly treads the fine line between virtuosity and self-conscious pastiche with nary a swoon. The recording commences as a technical procedure that builds until one note reigns predominant; a few beats of silence slip out of time before the serious space jamming begins. Opening track “Melody” is reminiscent of mid-career Styx; its sweeping instrumental and vocal bluster ultimately surrenders to a hard-edged counterpoint ironically titled “Vanilla.” Familiar prog-rock and metal tropes rise up with random precision on Noise. As things unfurl into the deep on Floydian finale “Siesta,” you may become convinced that punk rock never existed at all. (August March)
James Kelly has pushed the leaden envelope of black metal with Altar of Plagues. Now, as WIFE, Kelly seemingly turns inward and discovers an entirely new universe of expression. Following two preliminary expeditions, Kelly’s new full-length work What’s Between finds the artist ensconced in a nighttime electronic landscape that's disarming and intimately dusky. There is a dark and driven personal narrative at work here. Tracks like “Salvage” demonstrate a confessional tone that bleeds through hypnotic vocals and into a pounding rhythm section and buzzing background. Kelly collaborated on this recording with The Haxan Cloak, and Bobby Krlic’s predilection for droning instrumental inertia provides a compelling contrast to Kelly’s plaintive vocal stylings. As the eerie fullness of “Living Joy” transits into the enigmatically soothing “Fruit Tree,” it’s quite possible to get lost in Kelly’s atramentous endeavor. (August March)
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