Boris, SUMAC, Endon

October 6, 2017 - 9:00pm

            On Friday, October 6, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and University of Oregon Campus Radio 88.1 FM KWVA proudly welcome Boris’ Dear/25th Anniversary Tour to the WOW Hall along with SUMAC and Endon.

            “We don’t feel comfortable calling Dear a return to our slow and heavy style,” says Tokoyo’s amplifier worshiping experimental metal institution Boris.  “We’ve been heavy since day one.”

            And it’s true.  From the droning thunder of their Absolutego debut and through the cinematic crescendo of albums like Flood, the bombastic licks of the Heavy Rocks records, the punk rage of Vein, the bottom-dwelling psychedelia of Akuma no Uta and Pink, and the grimy thump of Attention Please and New Album, Boris has always attempted to search out new ways to level listeners with their sound.

On the 25th year of their existence, the trio delivers Dear, an album they describe as, “heavenly – far beyond heavy.”

Though Boris has traversed a broad swath of sonic territories, they have always been consistent in their embracing of excess, pushing their myriad of approaches and stylistic forays to points of intoxicating absurdity. But a time came in the early years of their third decade where the band wondered if there were any new horizons to explore. Consequently, it was decided that the band would begin jamming on material for what was planned to be a record that served as a formal goodbye to fans. In a strange twist of fate, being unencumbered by expectations and having an open-ended approach to the writing process reinvigorated Boris. The renewed vitality yielded an album that fortifies their monolithic wall of sound while also allowing the individual band members to explore the nuances and intricacies of minimalist riffs played at maximum volume.

Album opener “D.O.W.N. –Domination of Waiting Noise“ sets the tone for the record’s glacial pace and seismic rumble with vast swaths of sustained chords underscoring oscillator pulses and Takeshi’s soaring vocals. Songs like “DEADSONG”, “Kagero”, and “The Power” take the glacial doom of their early records and broaden the expanses of empty space to allow the chirp of amplifier tubes, the groan of strained speaker cabinets, and the sizzle of cranked distortion to transform their dirges into macrocosms of textures.

It was a premeditated strategy, with the band deliberately scaling down on instrumentation in order to allow more color, detail and tension to emanate from their protracted riffage. The galloping chugs and acidic guitar leads of “Absolutego” provide the most rock-oriented moment of the album, even though the song’s crushing timbre is cataclysmic by even the most down-tuned and heavily doped stoner rock standards. Brief moments of respite from the dimed amplifiers can be found on songs like “Beyond” and “Memento Mori”, where the band juxtaposes their deluges of fuzz with hints of ethereal dream pop.

Songwriting for Dear initially yielded three albums’ worth of material by the end of 2015, but as the band was slated to spend a large chunk of 2016 on their “Performing Pink” worldwide tour, they decided to hold off on releasing any new material. The tour further rekindled their passion, and when the band returned home they wrote several more songs and scaled the three records down to one.

“At the very first moment, this album began as some kind of potential farewell note of Boris. However, it became a sincere letter to fans and listeners… you know, like ‘Dear so-and-so, this is the new album from Boris’ or something like that. We feel so grateful we can release this album in our 25th anniversary year.”

Adding to that sentiment, Sargent House is grateful to release Boris Dear to the world on July 14, 2017 on CD, 2xLP, and digital formats.

 

SUMAC

 

The seed of SUMAC was planted somewhere around the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011, sown upon the smoldering ashes of guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner’s former band ISIS. Turner had seen his prior project reach full fruition over the span of thirteen years, and it had reached the end of its lifecycle.

ISIS had come to define an entire genre of architecturally meticulous and sonically nuanced metal, but at some point all the corners had been mapped, all the fortifications constructed. There was nothing left to build. Turner continued his musical path contributing to the deconstructed panoramic soundscapes of Mamiffer, the misanthropic crowd-baiting sludge of Old Man Gloom, the exploratory electrical whirr of House Of Low Culture, and a slew of studio projects running the gamut from slow-crawling minimalist pop (Jodis), to fiery d-beat punk (Split Cranium). In the midst of all these endeavors however, Turner tended to another venture, one that germinated slowly, its DNA already charted but its flesh still to develop.

SUMAC finally began to bloom in 2012 when Turner caught a set by Vancouver’s raging crust band Baptists. Drummer Nick Yacyshyn stormed through the songs, supplementing the band’s blitzkrieg energy with dexterous idiosyncratic fills and modulating drum patterns. Turner realized the rhythmic underpinning had been found, and shortly thereafter made contact with Yacyshyn. With this duo now comprising the core of SUMAC, the band developed quickly.

The debut album sprouted from a set of carefully composed guitar demos, a string of intensive days holed up in the forests of Vashon Island for writing and rehearsals, and a quick recording session booked while the songs were still growing. Turner recruited Brian Cook (Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes, Botch) to fill in on bass duties, hammering out the low-end lurch and cementing the foundation to the songs. The Deal was born.

With SUMAC, noting the members’ prior accomplishments isn’t an indirect excuse for The Deal’s existence; it’s a road map through the briar of their jagged labyrinthine compositions. Across the span of the album’s six songs, SUMAC takes multiple turns through unexpected territories: textural hums, math-metal, harsh noise, Caspar Brötzmann-inspired free-jazz. But all roads lead to a destination that epitomizes the members’ passionate dedication to heavy multi-deminsional music — bludgeoning riffs, tension-building structures, disorienting seismic shifts in tone, timbre, and tempo.

If there was a simple way to summarize The Deal, it’s that it’s an incredibly smart and emotionally sophisticated record, which may initially appear as a single-minded brutish assault. SUMAC is not suited for cursory listening.

 

            ENDON

 

ENDON is an experimental acoustic collective from Tokyo, first gathered in 2007 in order to bring a decisive rally on contemporary extreme music. In addition to a conventional band formation of vocal, guitars, and drums, there are two additional electronics performers, allowing them to create harsh, distinctive sounds in various chaotic mix of styles ranging from noise, hard core, black metal, industrial, to grind core, through an absolutely physical embodiment of pure hard core mentality.  Their staging can be characterized as a plethora of physical and acoustic momentum, with destructive performances involving self-mutilation and bleeding receiving high critical acclaims in the underground live scenes where they are touted as one of the most exciting acts.

Member AXONOX is the founder and creator of the effects pedal brand MASF, and not only does he make his own gears, he distributes the pedals to users such as Boris, Masonna, Justin Meldal-Johnson of Nine Inch Nails, and Nels Cline of Wilco, and is also receiving high praise from many users.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 day of show.  Doors open at 8:00 pm and showtime is 9:00.

 

 

 

Door Time: 
October 6, 2017 - 8:00pm
Cost: 
$15 Advance, $18 Day of Show