Q&A: Boris' Noise a Map to the Band's Sound

A capture from Boris' music video, "Vanilla"

Nailing down Boris is no easy task. The Japanese band has released 19 albums in its 22-year career, all with varying material that shifts from doom metal, to prog rock, screamo to power pop, space to thrash--sometimes on the same album.

That's part of the band's appeal, however, as the trio follows its whim to make what feels right. Boris' latest, Noise, is perhaps the band's strongest in years, a mixture of finely crafted songs full of melody, mood swings and catchy hooks interlaced with masterful guitars among an overall proggy transcendence.

""If there is a sound map of Boris, Noise will be the center of it," Boris drummer Atsuo says simply.

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Noise Complaint: Hate, Rain on Me

Categories: Noise Complaint

People from Phoenix treat the summer like the zombie apocalypse. I realize this every time I stare out of a car window at people groaning and lifelessly shuffling in the heat. I think about how I would never dare go out there, for fear of being infected.

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Noise Complaint: "Puke Til You Party"

Categories: Noise Complaint

If the curtain hasn't already been lifted for you, let me raise it with gusto: Most people who play in any punk band are, and always have been, pretty big nerds. But for every group of 1,000 Jello Biafras, there is at least 1 Henry Rollins in the bunch. A group who takes intoxication, poor hygiene, and maintaining a bad credit score seriously.

Last Friday, I was reminded of this the hard way.

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Noise Complaint: The Dirty Verde

Categories: Noise Complaint

I went to see some of my favorite local bands at Tempe's most notoriously seedy dive bar, the Palo Verde. If you haven't had the privilege of checking it out, you can find it located in the scenic industrial district of Tempe. Nestled between a milk-processing factory and an array of liquor stores.

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Is The New '90s Nostalgia Good For Rock and Roll?

We all have bands that defined our youth--that made us love music, that maybe even introduced us to a new feeling that we didn't know existed. Whether it's the psychedelic rock of the '60s, punk of the '70s, thrash of the '80s, or grunge of the '90s, every generation has its own musical roots.

And as history has shown us, those roots always cycle back and show through again eventually. But rarely do they return as poignantly and quickly as the recent nostalgia-heavy marketing renaissance of '90s alt-rock and grunge.

It's happened so fast that I think it's best to not even think of this resurgence as a "revival."

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Who Could Be Interested in Music at a Time Like This?

Categories: Noise Complaint
If you're like us, you're probably already sick of hearing about the Rapture that didn't happen last Saturday. But we reserve the right to kick dead horses, even in the midst of our apocalypse fatigue. This week, Up on the Sun comic artist Robbie Pfeffer explores a world without Christians -- or Christian rock bands. Scott Stapp, take note.

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Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Categories: Noise Complaint
Tragedy struck the hip-hop world last Sunday, when rapper M-Bone (of the group Cali Swag District) was killed in a drive-by shooting in Inglewood, California. As of this writing, the  investigation is ongoing, and police have not released the names of any potential suspects, nor any possible motives for the killing.

This week, Up on the Sun cartoonist Robbie Pfeffer offers a tongue-in-cheek, hypothetical scenario: that M-Bone's killer is caught, brought to trial, and offers the defense that he was driven crazy by Cali Swag's infectiously catchy hit, "Teach Me How to Dougie."

This is an unimaginably tough time for M-Bone's family, friends, and fans, who are preparing for the 22 year-old late rapper's funeral. Some might say it's too soon to crack any kinds of jokes, but others also say, "Laughter is the best medicine" -- especially when something so seemingly senseless happens, and people find themselves scratching their heads and asking "Why?"

So with condolences to M-Bone's family, we bring you this week's Noise Complaint.

Who Needs Talent?

Categories: Noise Complaint
Sometimes, when art imitates life, you get a bunch of glorified karaoke videos dressed as talent competition shows. In this week's "Noise Complaint" comic, Robbie Pfeffer explores the vacuous realm of music and celebrity judges on "reality" TV.

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Noise Complaint: Trying Hard to Be Apathetic

Categories: Noise Complaint


To some people, being cool is all about not caring if you're cool. This week, Up On the Sun cartoonist Robbie Pfeffer explores the idea that the less effort you put into being hip, the more hip you really are -- and if you're putting more effort into putting less effort into being hip, you're still not as cool as someone who truly doesn't give a crap.

There's a place in Phoenix that embodies this attitude, without knowing or caring that they do. Read on for Pfeffer's advice on what wannabe hipsters can learn from The Bikini Lounge.

Read this week's Noise Complaint.

What's the Point of Having Fun if You Can't Blog About it?

Categories: Noise Complaint

​French pop star Yelle played Rhythm Room last week and Up On The Sun cartoonist Robbie Pfeffer was there.

As a result, he has some advice for people who wish to blog about such events. 

Read on for those tips...

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