Trying to place Boris in one genre is an impossible task. The band has been labeled as metal, as experimental, as stoner rock and crust punk. Every label any music blog can possibly conceive of has been applied to the multifaceted Japanese music group. The simultaneous release of Heavy Rocks and Attention Please is a testament to Boris’ incredible versatility.
The first thing to mention about Heavy Rocks is that Boris released an album with this same title in 2002. The band kept the name to redefine its heavier sound as it’s changed over the last nine years. The first song on the LP, “Riot Sugar,” and the seemingly unending guitar solos and screaming vocals of “GALAXIANS,” are reminiscent of Black Sabbath and Van Halen. In the closing song, “Czechoslovakia,” Boris channels the heart of heavy metal music with a massive sound and unparalleled aggressiveness.
Attention Please could not be further away from Heavy Rocks. The album is characterized by elegant violin, delicate vocals and dreamy guitar distortion. “Party Boy” and “You” are long, dreamy ballads that belong on the soundtrack to a trek through deep space more than a rock album. Of all the songs, “Hope” is the most upbeat of the entire album, and the most poppy of both Heavy Rocks and Attention Please.
“Aileron” is the only song that appears on both releases, and in a sense, it bridges the gap between the two polar opposite records. The 13 minute ballad encompasses the distinct sounds of both records. It starts off as a dreamy, light-hearted tune but soon transforms into the metal that makes Heavy Rocks so distinctive.
Like Boris itself, Heavy Rocks and Attention Please cannot be placed in just one specific genre. The albums represent two distinctive sides of Boris—the ambient side and the noisy side—contrasting stances that the band has spent nearly 20 years cultivating.