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The Boredoms: Seadrum/House of Sun

The Boredoms: Seadrum/House of Sun

Release Date:2005

By Sebastian Roberts | Posted 5/11/2005

Fifteen years ago, Osaka noiseniks the Boredoms were incapable of completing a musical thought. Botched chords, rhythmic disaster, and effect-pedal abuse were stitched with screams into something almost, but not completely, unlike songs. Where they used to pursue too many ideas at once, the Boredoms now pursue too few. The band’s decade-long obsession with Krautrock has streamlined songs to the point of utter tedium. The past several Boredoms releases were less surprising and more sedative, each shedding a layer of compositional complexity. Ditto for Seadrum/ House of Sun. Its two titular tracks each meander for more than 20 minutes, of which the last 19-or-so simply rehash the first.

“Seadrum” is the more dynamic of the two. A thunderous parade of percussion, the song dashes between postrock propulsion and Afro-Cuban polyrhythm while raked piano strings ripple throughout. What keeps “Seadrum” from turning into any ol’ campfire drum circle is bandleader Yamatsuka Eye’s mercurial mix. As swells of reverb crash and recede, the drums ebb and flow from a skittish whisper to a window-rattling roar. It’s head-spinning enough to distract from the song’s lack of a melodic hook to hang its hat on.

“House of Sun” goes one step beyond, eschewing melody and rhythm, lumping together a monaural tar pit of guitar loops and sitar drones. Mind-numbing doesn’t begin to describe it. Though they never aspired to be an easy listen, the manic panic of their early albums declared the Boredoms would never live up to their name. Sadly, that’s no longer the case.

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