science bastards

5 November, 2011

Boredoms, Vision Creation Newsun. The songs, Circle.

Filed under: Boredoms — sciencebastards @ 4:13 pm

True to Boredoms’ confusing form, “Vision Creation Newsun” doesn’t have actual song titles to it, instead the songs are represented by geometric shapes.  Song #1 is denoted by a circle.  Anyway, aside from the song being the opener it’s a strong candidate for being singled out.  Circle is basically a microcosm of the entire album in its structure.  This, despite the fact that it contains practically the only lyrics on the album.  The song begins in a seemingly placid manner that fast builds into what seems like chaos.  When I saw them perform it in 1999, the three drummers started out with cymbal washes crouched behind their sets.  As the crescendo built, they slowly stood up and eventually were standing on their stools bashing pretty hard.  They had the lights slowly rise from behind too, symbolizing a sunrise.  While it’s shorter on the album, the effect it still there. There is no video to be found of this, which is a bummer because it was pretty spectacular.

As the music comes up, the title of the album is repeated alongside a sparse guitar line that I initially found slightly annoying but has grown on me in the intervening years.  Other than “vision creation newsun”, there are only really gibberish lyrics here.  This would probably cause some disapproval in most, but this record, and this song, don’t really need words cluttering it up.  A few minutes in, we get an extended drum breakdown and then back into the music, and more gibberish.  You can really see the band making good use of the fact that there are now three full drummers going at once.  Around eight or nine minutes in, the song seems to break down toward a finish.  It gets quiet and loose and seems to be getting placid as well.  There are actually still 5 or so minutes left where a steady, treated guitar slowly rises up and brings all the tension back into the piece and doesn’t let up until 15-20 seconds into track 2 (“Star”).

These sound like mundane or immaterial details about the song but it shows off a few things about Boredoms that can infuriate some.  First is the fact that they don’t really care for making distinct songs, or at least delineating them as such.  If you stick this song on the iPod, it abruptly cuts off and can be jarring.  Second is that they really avoid traditional song structure.  You could cut the album into tracks many different ways, even ways that make more sense than they are already split.  You can even, as I have suggested previously, listen to the album as a whole piece.  I still think it works well that way.  Lastly, the song almost acts as an overture for the rest of the album.  Its false fade outs and crescendos that seem to build far longer than you’d expect are reproduced throughout the album, even down to the loud fade up at the end that seems to come after everything has finally calmed down for good.  Even though it isn’t my absolute favorite song here, it’s a great opener for sure.

Rating – 4.75 of 5

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