Boris & Ian Astbury - BXI
Southern Lord
Hard Rock
4 songs (20:10)
Release year: 2010
Southern Lord
Reviewed by Goat

Ian Astbury, frontman of once-famed rockers The Cult, is not the most obvious choice for a collaboration with Japanese Drone-rock-experimentalists Boris, but clearly something clicked between the two and the resulting EP will be of some interest to fans of both, although I wouldn’t call it vital for anyone. Boris are most definitely on rock n’roll mode here, making the tracks sound like a more experimental version of The Cult more than anything else, especially on opening track Teeth And Claws where aside from the slight fuzziness to the riffs it’s pitch-perfect melancholic post-grunge, Sonic Youth-esque sonicscapes hinted at but never quite given chance to become a reality. Objectively, the two make for a pretty great whole, Astbury’s vocals soaring above the noisy rocking and contrasting well with moments of strangeness like the childlike vocals that end Teeth And Claws.

What makes this surprising is how straightforward the EP is; despite the experimental artwork (designed by Stephen O’Malley) there’s nothing that will be too out-there for mainstream listeners in my view. In fact, there’s hardly a lot of strangeness at all, We Are Witches riffing infectiously and leading into something like a mixture of Alice In Chains and Kyuss, and The Cult cover Rain (with fantastically breathy female vocals from Wata) is a definite highlight. Finale Magickal Child, meanwhile, starts almost in ambience before launching suddenly into noisy but slow-paced crashing drums and post-rock guitar lines, Astbury’s voice over the top giving it all a quite majestic feel. It let the EP down a little for me, though, not fitting in with the other tracks and feeling too out of place.

I’ve never been a massive fan of The Cult, being honest I thought they were out of fashion years ago, the minute people got bored with She Sells Sanctuary. Boris are clearly fans, however, and whilst BXI contains several great songs that a free-minded non-Cultist like myself can enjoy, I’m not sure what the actual intention behind the project was. Chalk it up to their open-minded style, and check it out if you like your rock of a leftfield direction or are a massive fan of Astbury.

Killing Songs :
Teeth And Claws, We Are Witches, Rain
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:04 am
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