CD Reviews: BXI, “BXI”; Filter, “The Trouble With Angels”

Written by CD Reviews, Music

BXI, BXI (Southern Lord)

Boris = fucking weird
Ian Astbury = fucking cool

So if I’m to take the title of this collaboration literally then I should multiply B X I which would come out to: BXI = Ffuckinng weirool. So there you have it. The four song EP by Japanese Doom rockers Boris and Ian Astbury is ffucking weirool. Do I need to continue? Okay.

I like unique things and artists that don’t sound like anyone else, but I’ve even had a hard time getting into Boris. One album will be earsplitting noise and the next will be very accessible. One will experiment with sounds that you’d think only the devil himself could make and the next will be structured songs with hooks.

If you look at their Wikipedia page they are listed with nine genres and I think that’s not even enough.

Then there’s Ian Astbury with only three genres. He’s the lead singer of The Cult and was part of the Doors of the 21st Century (worst. name. ever.) The Cult make blistering rock and roll ready for mass consumption. Seemingly the only thing Astbury and Boris have in common is that they are both on Southern Lord records right now.

So that brings us to what seems like an odd pairing on paper, but works damn fine on disc. BXI is a 4-song EP with three of them being Boris compositions and one being a cover of the Cult’s “Rain”. The obvious thing right off the bat is that this isn’t very different at all. In fact, opening track “Teeth and Claws” sounds like a Cult tune (though with a distorted loudness factor that only Boris can bring).

“We Are Witches” is the second cut and the best on the EP. It’s got a rippin’ chainsaw metal riff to it and the drums totally take over the chorus. I’m not sure that Astbury’s vocals really fit the track perfectly, but it’s somehow part of the charm of it.

The Cult’s “Rain” from their 1985 album Love is in the three hole and sounds a heck of a lot like the original, but I’m assuming the Ian Astbury’s input was minimal as his voices doesn’t appear on the track. Instead you get the song performed by a Japanese girl, which sounds pretty awesome.

“Magickal Child” is the best track on the album though with Boris providing a lo-fi fuzzed out drone-ish guitar riff over top of atmosphere – which transitions into a mind blowing wall of sound of immense doom proportions.

My one complaint though – four songs? That’s all you could get was four songs out of this. We need a full. We need a full. Say it with me. We need a full!

Pick up a copy of BXI over at Amazon.

Filter, The Trouble With Angels (Rocket Science)

If it weren’t for Richard Patrick writing some insanely dumb lyrics over the years, Filter may well be my favorite band. But even despite the lyrical content of Filter albums I love them all, a lot – so that must say a lot about the music.

Musically, Patrick can craft a hell of a rock song with elements of hard rock, metal and industrial blending together seamlessly. And his hook-filled ballads have provided a nice balance to his albums over the years.  But honestly, there hasn’t been a moment like “Hey Man Nice Shot” since Short Bus was released 15 (!) years ago.  Until now.

The first single, “The Inevitable Relapse” was released way back in May to promote the record and could be considered a revisit of their first big hit. It’s a perfect track to lead with for a new explosive record.  And like dynamite Trouble With Angels is.  Earlier in the year Patrick mentioned how some fans convinced him that he had went a little soft on the last record, so he decided he wanted to add the industrial elements back in full force and kick some major ass. Kicking ass is something that Filter doesn’t need to worry about being able to accomplish – that’s easy. But to do it this hard, this many years into their career is pretty amazing.

Patrick has dropped the political angle he showed on 2008’s Anthems for the Damned which was his least rockin’ album to date.  Instead he’s writing about drugs, trouble and despair with tracks like “Absentee Father”, “Drug Boy” and “Catch a Falling Knife”.  If you listen to the lyrics, it’s actually a pretty depressing and angry record and the powerful riffs seem to be sort of therapy for Patrick to work out his demons.

“No Re-Entry” is the most somber of the bunch seemingly about a young kid thinking about suicide and then “Down With Me” – a blazing riff fest about a killer scorned by a girl and taking everyone down with him so no one can have her.  (I’m not the greatest interpreter of lyrics but these seem to be a little easier to interpret than some of the verbal diarrhea strung together on other albums).  And the album ender is a straight up ballad called “Fades Like a Photograph (Dead Angel)” a new version of the track that appeared on the 2012 soundtrack last year. It may be the best ballad he’s ever written.  But don’t let that fool you. Patrick set out to kick someone’s ass and it seemed like he’s kicked everyone’s along the way.  This is definitely not a dude I’d want to fuck with right now.

Purchase The Trouble With Angels at Amazon now.

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