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Super Ae

Boredoms

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Album Review

Surfacing again with an American release after a couple years of absence, the Boredoms showed themselves to still be truly a unique proposition with Super Ae. Taking some more of the prog/K***t influences that crept into earlier efforts while still firing up the amps all around, Eye and his cohorts (forming a core quintet this time around) once again become the most out-there band in the world. "Super You" is a simply fantastic way to start, with initial whizzing stereo-to-stereo sounds leading into a wonderful collection of slow, ponderous death rock riffs that sound like all the Black Sabbath and Metallica wannabes of the world gathered to create one massive opening fanfare via guitars. Logically the Boredoms spike the punch by interrupting things with sped-up tape sounds and pitch changes, making the proceedings all the more fun. From there, Super Ae continues along to something close to a concept album; each track feels like a perfect lead in to the rest, while the whole sense is of one long, mantra-like piece, faster or slower as the band feels like it. The big change is that the volume is not so much used to stun as it is to maintain a general atmosphere while the rhythm section cranks along in semi-motorik style, a bit like Can with some even freer spirits at play. Not everything is total destruction in the Boredoms scheme of things, admittedly — "Super Coming" has some hilarious cartoony vocals from all participants. "Super Are" begins with a serene keyboard performance and chanting background vocals before turning into a psych/acid folk drum/singing jam session á la Amon Düül or fellow countrymen Ghost. Needless to say, though, the amps and monster sludge kick in soon enough, and quite well at that! "Super Good," the album closer, also has a nicely calm way about it.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Osaka, Japan

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Of all the artists in Japan's thriving noise-music community, the Boredoms undoubtedly had the most fun. Although their maniacally extreme cacophony was by no means accessible listening, it was underpinned by a gleeful sense of humor that helped them find a limited (but still surprisingly wide) audience among alternative rockers. A typical Boredoms track might feature massively distorted guitars, squealing synths, any number of odd found-object noisemakers, or studio-manipulation effects; conventional...
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