Boris & Tera Melos at Downtown Brew, San Luis Obispo, CA


10. Okt. 2011, 1:53

Fri 7 Oct – Boris, Tera Melos
It was a night of talented instrumentalists gracing the confines of SLO Brew. The opening show of Japanese experimental rock band Boris' US/CA tour, the show also featured Sacramento math-rock band Tera Melos who are traveling with them for the first leg of the trip. They performed for a size-able crowd, especially considering that Boris is a foreign underground band.

The opening act, Tera Melos is a three-member group(bass, guitar & effects, drums) who displayed their technical ability through rock music that shifted time signatures and rhythms frequently. The guitarist was surrounded by effects pedals, which he used to make noises and alter the sound of his electric guitar. He also used a station of electronics to create loops and effectsto keep listeners engaged between songs.

These guys set had a dense sit with only one clear break, always quick to get going onto the next track. The intensity and pattern shifted during each track, sometimes the guitarist would repeatedly reverberate twisted notes, the bassist was using a pick to allow him to play more than the conventional amount of notes. The drummer was center stage, his seemingly wild, yet in control drumming style locked the eyes of many-an-attendee. It was a joy for the listener to follow them through their sonic transformations and appreciate the difficulty of keeping time, and maintaining order amidst near chaos.

The vocals were a minor element with both groups(these guys and girl are first-and-foremost instrumentalists). This worked well for Boris, as most of their lyrics are in Japanese.

Boris came out to the stage dressed in all black, foreshadowing the dark mood of their music. Backed by a team of amplifiers that nearly took up the entire stage, they created walls of distorted sound. The drummer acted as hype-man playing gong in between the songs and shouting throughout the performance. He was the most mobile out of the band, as the others were sedentary, focusing on playing their instruments.

Boris had a variety of styles and emphasis throughout their performance. At times, Wata(guitar,keyboard,vocals), or Takeshi(guitar, bass, vocals) would be the focus performing solo vocals or lead guitar. On "Missing Pieces" for example, Takeshi was the star, he played some slow chords on guitar and sung passionately for a more somber, contemplative display. Boris' style is characterized as thick guitar/bass riffs, varied drumming, and psychedelic slide guitar bleeds. At times their sound was in the style of punk with repetitive aggressive drumming, yelling, and quick, slashing guitar cuts. Their sludge metal oriented tracks had drawn out guitar & bass notes with the the three string players using Ebows, no vocals, and more textural drumming. Boris enveloped the stage in smoke while they drenching the listeners in an equally hazy wall of electric guitar.

Some watched intently, nodding their heads and body to the beat, others thrashed and flailed about in a mosh pit celebrating the energy of the music. It was a rare treat for all to see an import band from Japan, and most were blown away by the performance.


  • jasonatwork

    GODDAMMIT!!!!! Will NEVER forgive myself for missing this! Thanks for the review!

    12. Okt. 2011, 2:45
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