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CD Review: Boris 

Smile

The Deal: Japanese experimental and noise band further expands its output.

The Good: Birthed in Japanese punk movement, Boris also relishes its psychedelic guitar drones and heaviness. To quote a cliché, the band's music is all over the map. The resplendent opener "Flower Sun Rain" to the hit-and-run scorcher "Buzz IN" to the ballad "My Neighbor Satan," the trio concocts compositions where quiet moments explode into feedback squalls. Several guests, most notable Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O))), help further dissect the band's love of noise on Smile. Taking its name from a Melvins song, Boris never forgets its punk roots while heaviness abounds with feedback-gorged riffs and effects strewn abound with abandon. The most intriguing track is the true blue, psychedelic wigout, "Flower Sun Rain" that ends in a glorious wave of guitar noise. Another killer track of experimentation is "KA RE HA ..." The American release is a completely different recording than the Japanese version of the same album. These explorers of sound have released numerous studio albums, singles and compilation tracks.

The Bad: The record doesn't quite know where it wants to go, but is that a bad thing?

The Verdict: Punky, noisy, heavy and acid-laden while gleefully confounding the casual listener, making it even more intriguing.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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