So can you learn to like an album based on four spotty song reviews? The smart money would suggest this isn’t really feasible. This seems especially true when the record defies the conventional wisdom of what comprises an album. Boredoms have always been a band that people get pretty polarized over, you either love them or hate them. If you fall into the former category, you love them without question. They may have some uneven moments but as a whole the band is absolutely untouchable to their deep fans. The band has thrived specifically on not handing its followers what they expect. They staged a free show in Brooklyn on 7/7/07 with 77 full drum sets arrayed in a spiral. It was an ode to a Japanese legend of two celestial bodies that meet once a year on July the 7th. It was a massive undertaking with little rehearsal that could have gone horribly wrong in many ways. Instead it went off without a hitch and I still consider it to be the best show I have ever witnessed, and I have been obsessively consuming live music since the 80s.
The point here isn’t that Boredoms are ambitious, or even that they routinely fulfill their ambitions, but that they do it so beautifully and rarely according to expectations. More specifically, “Vision Creation Newsun” did exactly this when some of their fans had come to worry that the band had lost direction. It may have its imperfections, but as a whole the record flows through its paces effortlessly without a loss of momentum or clunker songs bogging it down. We live in a time when albums tend to have a few winners and a lot of mediocrity to fill out the rest of the 60-70 minutes that the cd format has gifted us. What’s more is that this type of record tends to be the domain of the really difficult, like Merzbow or Borbetomagus, music that is intentionally difficult. “Vision Creation Newsun” is an album that is unconventional and at times not simple to digest, but never the least bit alienating. What other band could turn something that sounds as corny on paper as a paean to the sun into something revered by its acolytes? It only goes to prove that some of the hardest to classify art can be the most rewarding.