Boris with Michio Kurihara Rainbow

After Boris’s unexpected success with last year’s Pink, these intrepid noise-mongers continue to expand their sonic palette by collaborating with guitarist Michio Kurihara (formerly of Ghost and Japan’s psychedelic revival). Kurihara sets his guitar to "eardrum-splitting” for most of his solos, beginning with the impenetrable wall of noise that surrounds opener "Rafflesia.” The title track sounds a bit like a subdued Jefferson Airplane shuffle with Kurihara’s piercing solo, yet "Starship Narrator” and "Sweet No. 1” give him over ten minutes to emulate Band of Gypsys-era Jimi Hendrix with chaotically controlled tangents. "You Laughed Like a Water Mark” uses the same template as Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s "Cowgirl in the Sand.” The album, however, is not entirely noise: "My Rain” invokes solo David Crosby, and "Shine” features the vocal gratification of diminutive guitarist Wata, who sounds like Greg Lake-era King Crimson. "Fuzzy Reactor” highlights the desolate ambience of early Pink Floyd soundtracks, while "No Sleep Till I Become Hollow” features minimalist acoustic chords that plumb deep until the track ends abruptly after four minutes. Since Boris’ previous collaboration with Sunn0))) on last year’s Altar netted mixed reviews, Rainbow is sure to elicit much of the same due to the noisier aspects of its antithetical headphone rock, for which even Hendrix would need earplugs. (Drag City)