Boredoms: Super Roots
Warner Music Japan (1993)
I was scared off Boredoms in the mid nineties when Pop Tatari and Chocolate Synthesizer increased their fan base among underground icons and indie kids alike. Their schtick was too unfocused and random for my teenage brain. Besides, I was too busy idolising Mike Patton and his rapidly expanding plethora of psychotic – and often Boredoms influenced – projects. Not even Sonic Youth’s endorsement of Yamantaka Eye and his clan could change my mind. The later Boredoms records are said to be more cohesive, Krautrock-ish and even ambient but I’ve never bothered to investigate.
While I was in Japan earlier this year I stumbled across Super Roots, from the same period as the records mentioned above and the first in a series of eps which a number of people have recommended to me. I still don’t understand the fuss.
Rattling percussion, lo-fi guitar twang, vomiting trumpets and lots – read again, LOTS – of random yelling are combined with no real rationale, in my opinion anyway. I understand the concept of breaking down conventional notions of music, but do they have to sound like Muppets while they do it?
So my feelings about Boredoms remain unchanged, although I don’t deny the influence they’ve had on the Japanese music scene, along with early Animal Collective, Fantomas and perhaps even acts like Shit and Shine.
Boredoms make me feel like there’s a joke I’m not in on – perhaps I need to hear their more recent output to make sense of it all.