Boris / Merzbow - 2R0I2P0 [Collaboration] review

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Band: Boris / Merzbow
Album: 2R0I2P0 [Collaboration]
Release date: December 2020

Disc I
01. Away From You
02. To The Beach [Coaltar Of The Deepers cover]
03. Coma
04. Love
05. Absolutego
06. Journey

Disc II
01. Uzume
02. Evol
03. Boris [Melvins cover]
04. Shadow Of Skull

Boris and Merzbow collaborate so often that they used to have a separate band profile here just for the collabs. Now they team up for a sixth time to say "RIP 2020".

Which, I agree. This hasn't been the best of years, and a lot of people had it really bad. Live shows, which were the life and blood of the music industry since streaming and piracy made it impossible to make enough money from sales, have pretty much completely ceased, with no clear sign if and when they'll be viable again. Records kept coming, some livestreams popped up, Bandcamp waived their fees, but the whole thing is quite on life support. So it's no coincidence that 2R0I2P0's tracklist is made up of songs from the live setlists of Boris' last tour. It's fitting that in times like these you'd need a support network of friends, hence why Boris invited one of their own here.

Like I said, both albums have collaborated in the past, but also both have also put out multiple other records this year, some of which collaborations. I already reviewed Boris' No, and though I don't think anyone here has the courage to review a Merzbow record, especially since a shitload of them are just archivals, I do have to recommend the other collabs he released this year, one with Mats Gustafsson and Balázs Pándi, and another with Keiji Haino and... uhhh... Balázs Pándi again. Where am I going with this? 2R0I2P0 comes over an already busy year over an already large discography of people who already frequently collaborated and has mostly re-recorded material. If any of that is a dealbreaker, you're kinda missing out.

Boris and Merzbow have quite different sounds, but they've managed to synergize on previous collaborations (Rock Dream anyone?), even though the last one, 現象 (Gensho), was more of a split that had the listener mix the two however they desired (which is either genius or lazy). However they pretty much do the exact opposite here. 2R0I2P0 feels like Merzbow is the oppressive force that is constantly fighting Boris, which is thematically appropriate I guess. A wall of noise textures seems like a pretty good sonic metaphor to how this year felt like to most people, and so is the way that Boris remixed and mellowed out their own songs, giving them a more defeatist and melancholic vibe, though those riffs do still go heavy at appropriate times, during which there is some synergy with the noise. But it's fleeting, the noise always ends up overwhelming. But the closer you get to the album's finish, the more cathartic the dichotomy becomes.

Also to my knowledge this is the first time that they're putting the cover of the Melvins song, the one that served as the band's name inspiration, on record. It bangs.


Written on 16.12.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

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