Boris & Uniform

Bright New Disease

Sacred Bones • 2023

Discogs lists a little over 70 album releases by the Japanese trio Boris, which makes more than 20 per decade and thus at least two per year. Quite a few of these releases were made in collaboration with other musicians such as Merzbow, Michio Kurihara or Sunn O))). »Bright New Disease« is the group’s first joint album with the industrial and noise rock band Uniform and follows a joint tour in 2019. As so often in their career, Boris practise the dubious art of pastiche—an Early-Metallica throwback song opens the album, followed by references to D-Beat as well as Black Sabbath and even a synthwave metal hybrid—but use the addition of other voices and instruments in order to let the mere copy of something else transform into something else entirely: pure creative chaos. Drums, guitars, bass, the occasional synthesizer and the vocals of the two frontmen Takeshi Ōtani and Michael Berdan are in constant conflict with each other, always struggling to make themselves heard and take the lead. All this makes »Bright New Disease« exuberant on every level: it is full of quotations, ideas, conflicts, contrasts—simply put, full of abundance. This makes it an almost archetypal Boris album, which, however, thanks to their three collaborators, sounds like no other from their very, very extensive discography. Which of course is not an easy feat after around 30 years of (hyper-)activity.