February 1, 2007

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Boredoms, Super Roots Vol. 1-3 and 5-7
Vice Records, 2007

An odd footnote to rock history, the Boredoms have long ruled the more animated side of Japanoise, having been around since 1982 or so, depending on when they actually started futzing around recording random riffs, clucks, screeches and so forth in Yamantaka Eye’s bedroom. It’s a Residents kind of head trip here, dank with subterfuge and mystery, but the bottom line as far as their sound goes is that it’s weird, noisy, and weirdly, noisily musical, usually banished to the no-wave sections of record stores. The release of all six of their Super Roots releases by Vice will be ongoing through January and February, much of the collection obscure to the point of pain, such as SR 2, which was a freebie sent to buyers of the 1994 Chocolate Synthesizer album (on Warner/reprise, believe it or don’t) who sent in a coupon (SR 4 doesn’t exist because that number is “unlucky in Japan”). These aren’t necessarily spazz-fests at all, for example “Pop Kiss,” which is peppered with smooching sounds while a plucked mandolin string keeps being fretted higher and higher, threatening to blow but never doing so, but if it’s nuts-ness you seek there’s “Machine 3,” an industrial, babbling, shrieking ode to Butthole Surfers. A- — Eric W. Saeger