Bo Ningen - Bo Ningen - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Bo Ningen - Bo Ningen

by Rich Morris Rating:8 Release Date:2010-11-15

As is nature's way, as one band of Japanese noise-mongers bows out, so another rises to take its place. This year, fans of gloriously unhinged, expansively experimental, so-dumb-its-genius noise bid a tearful farewell to Afrirampo. Now, fellow J-rockers (although UK-based) Bo Ningen are here to make sure your ears don't relinquish their tinnitus just yet. Their self-titled debut is a thing of savage, serrated beauty, spewing riffs and bleeding-throat screams in every direction.

Having already built up a fearsome live reputation, on record the band waste no time getting across what they are all about: opening track '4 Seconds to Ascension' is actually four-minutes-30-seconds is visceral, bludgeoning noise, monster riffs and space rock dynamics. At its heart lies a surprisingly crisp and crunchy pop-punk tune, a trick Bo Ningen have in common with Afrirampo and Deerhoof. It's a fantastic, blistering album opener and things only get better from there. 'Yurayura Kaeru' mixes the heavy-psych sounds of 70s Jap-rock bands such as Flower Travellin' Band and Speed, Glue & Shinki with the Krautrocking feel of Stereolab . Single 'Koroshitai Kimochi' begins with a heavy-as-fuck Sabbath riff before exploding into Hawkwind-style cosmic rock spiked with no wave dissonance. It's a creation of truly bonkers brilliance. After this initial onslaught, Bo Ningen spring the unexpectedly bluesy, jazzy 'Gasmask Rabbit' on us. It's a moment of subtle disquiet before normal service is resumed with the hard rocking 'Kage', possibly the most conventional-sounding song on here, which, of course, means it's still completely bat-shit.

After this, the album abruptly shifts gear. 'Post Yokai' is a long, repetitive, moody track which never really takes off although it constantly threatens to develop into something more interesting. Overall, the second side struggles to live up to the electro-shock luminescence of the first, although 'Maguro' is a lot of fun and 'Yuruyaka Na Ao' (which apparently translates as 'Gradual Blue') has a lightness-of-touch and a lovely melancholy air. This is still a fantastic album, however. In fact, it might be this year's greatest debut.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles
Bo Ningen - Bo Ningen - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
Bo Ningen - III
  • 05/06/2014
  • By Rich Morris