Boris Japanese Heavy Rock Hits

Japan's leading noise rockers, Boris have always made it a habit to keep their fans guessing as far as which style they'll assume next. Being the prolific juggernauts they are, this guessing game is played often. However, not so much as on this three-volume series appropriately titled Japanese Heavy Rock Hits. Released as three limited edition seven-inches, more than ever before Boris run the gamut of their many different, and sometimes clashing, personalities. There's the familiar: "8" revisits the shoegaze they dabbled in on Pink, mixing hushed vocals with a chugging rhythm section and screaming guitars; "16:47:52" is a dragging bit of jazzed-up drone; and "…and Hear Nothing" crawls knee-deep through molasses-thick sludge. But there's also the unfamiliar: "Hey Everyone" is both the most accessible thing they've ever put to tape and the sort of crazed rock their countrymen the Zoobombs are known for, and "Black Original" experiments with a programmed beat and some dance grooves. But nothing prepares you for "H.M.A.," which regrettably stands for "Heavy Metal Addict." The song is as cheesy as its title, combining handclaps, dulled synth notes and the sort of chunky riffage you'd expect from a bunch of kids practicing their Metallica songs on a store model metal guitar. There's little here to appease fans who've worn out their copy of Amplifier Worship, but, really, it's Boris, what did you expect? (Southern Lord)