Boris is a band that evolves with you. I remember first discovering them when Pink was released back in 2005, and you could argue this was the start of their more “accessible phase” so maybe it was good timing, coming in at a point where the band was injecting their unique style into molds with recognizable shapes. I kept listening as they moved forward, but their previous, more drone and noise inspired works always felt distant and unconnected for me. As I grew older and experienced more music, their sonic signature continued to align closer to mine, until the point arrived where I find myself more often than not turning to the band’s entire catalog based on my mood and my emotion/mental needs. So enter Reincarnation Rose, which on the surface is a single being used to push Wata’s collaboration with Earthquaker Devices on a new fuzz pedal modeled after her tone, but on a deeper, more personal level for me marries what I originally loved in the band, and what I grew to love the more I listened, and the more I opened up to music.
Limited to 500 copies as part of the package with the pedal (which sounds absolutely delicious, by the way) the single has ridiculous rocker “Reincarnation Rose” (apologies for the obvious alliteration) on the A-side and the massive “You Will Know (“Oyasumi” Full Version)” on the b-side. I don’t know if there’s a better way to show off your new pedal then to let Wata let loose with an insane amount of licks and solos over a killer stoner rock riff, complete with hand claps and some guest shreddage from suGar Yoshinaga of Buffalo Daughter. “Reincarnation Rose” might be the most immediate and straightforward the band has ever done, but its frenetic energy is 100% vintage Boris. We also get a rare Wata lead vocal, and the song plays perfectly into her vocals, driving upwards into chaos into the solo, then diving away for the simple and direct lyrics about yearning to be loved, simply and more. It’s only about four and half minutes, but I have no problem keeping it on repeat and listening again and again…the solos are just fantastic, the sound is crunchy and slightly insectoid, and just has everything I love in a deep, dank fuzz tone.
The nearly 20-minute “You Will Know” is a sumptuous ambient piece that flows in and other of frequencies that should irritate both instead lull you into a hypnotic state. How do you describe the sound beyond that? There are more whispered vocals, ASMR’ing you into a deep peace where children paint the colors of the sky. There are delicate guitar lines, and stringed instruments bowing away while in the background circling and moving are these electronic pulses of sound that envelop you.
I feel like the washes of noice that spread like static throughout “You Will Know” shouldn’t be calming, shouldn’t feel so soothing against my head but, somehow, it is. I spent the last few weeks diving more and more into the drone and ambient aspects of Boris’s discography, and I’ve coming away in awe of how Wata fits so nicely into the different extremes of the band’s sounds. This is what I crave right now. This is what is working to stop the influx of depression and paranoia and crushing weight of feeling like a failure.
Up into the air, to float amongst motes, maybe to fall and not mind.