Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
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Insane Japanese experimentalism--me rikey!
Wheelchair Assassin | The Great Concavity | 10/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Man, nothing like the Boredoms to remind me I haven't had a good mind-blowing in a while. Led by the mad-genius vocal stylings of Yamatsuka Eye, Chocolate Synthesizer is a wide-ranging, occasionally frightening, and endlessly fascinating listen. It's a messy (yet stangely addictive) pastiche of styles, effortlessly incorporating art punk, ambient, thrash metal, and krautrock, occasionally within the confines of a single song. If you enjoy such sissified devices as melody and "conventional" song structures Chocolate Synthesizer will probably leave you bewildered if not outright disgusted, but if you're in the mood for something different, something that pushes boundaries, challenges perceptions, and all those other cliches, this should fit the bill quite nicely. If you like acts like Can, Mr. Bungle, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and the Flaming Lips and you haven't checked out the Boredoms already, then you're missing out on some primo weirdness with this one.
The Boredoms can do the quiet thing pretty well-the title track is a nice little electronic interlude, and Synthesizer Guide Book has an eerily minimal feel led by hand drums and a hypnotic groove-but Chocolate Synthesizer is at its best when it's at its loudest and most confrontational, serving up bursts of caffeinated noise that should offend well-adjusted people everywhere. The opening Acid Police is a nice example, combining a searing riff and steamrolling rhythm with frightening group chants in either Japanese or gibberish (I can't tell the difference anyway). Similarly, the brilliantly twisted Shock City alternates psychedelic, quasi-spiritual mantras with ear-piercing screams, all while the band pounds away with some gonzo instrumentation in the background. Tomato Synthesizer, for its part, is a sonic beating of a track that provides a perfect representation of the album's no-holds-barred approach, combining harsh atmospherics with Mike Pattonesque vocal riffs and and skewed percussion before giving way to near-total anarchy for its conclusion. B for Boredoms is speed metal you can dance to, featuring a wildly addictive main guitar riff, while I'm Not Synthesizer (Ypy?) includes a lead guitar line that wouldn't sound too out of place on a Tom Waits album before a flurry of high-speed riffs and drum beats reminds you that Chocolate Synthesizer is anything but.
In spite of all the completely arbitrary and equally sudden stylistic shifts, the tracks on Chocolate Synthesizer do manage to hang together pretty well as something bearing a passing resemblance to songs-oddly enough, the boldness and willingness to experiment that led the boredoms to create such schizophrenic sound collages in the first place also provides a common thread even in the midst of all the insanity. What could in lesser hands be little more than a misguided if interesting mishmash of disparate sounds becomes a collection of fully realized pieces of deceptively lowbrow art, each of which manage to stand on their own. While it's by no means my favorite album, Chocolate Synthesizer has earned a special place in my collection by virtue of its sheer individuality. With this album, the Boredoms have a minor outsider-music classic on their hands."
Boredoms - 'Chocolate Synthesizer' (Reprise)
Mike Reed | USA | 02/15/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Didn't like this CD quite as much as I did their 'Super Ae' effort (see my review). Perhaps just too noisy experimental for most, I guess. This fifteen track CD doesn't exactly suck. It just isn't as good as the only disc I've heard (so far) from this Japanese ensemble. Couple of the tunes here I thought were decent are "Shock City", "Action Synthesizer" and the odd-sounding "Smoke 7". Still need to explore more of this band's work."
Don Lavallie | CANADA | 05/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No review could possibly do this one any amount of justice it deserves... the opening few snippets could nearly bring a tear to my eye with it's supreme absurdity. I love these guys (and girl). It culminates each and every possible style of music, from jewish chants (I guess that's the sound on 4:29 in "Turn Table Boredoms") to noise, to surf music, jazz, lounge and punk... they happily lifted all stops and boundaries, shooting through the gates of creativity at lightening-fast speed. I could name certain cranial pleasers like "Now Dom Go Synthesizer Way (Why?)" and "Shock City", but in (un)reality, each song is an adventure unto itself. "B For Boredoms" is a party anthem that never was. "Anarchy In The UKK" ends with more screaming than a horde of rabid chihuahuas. "Smoke 7" takes you on a ride through the Metro in a bullet train; and "Tomato Synthesizer" is just plain weird. Oh, and they don't have any lyrics... mostly gibberish and vocal sounds by frontman Eye. This release will echo genious for ages to come. Get this, you scummy maggot, or I'll have you for breakfast."