View it as fate or pure fluke that the members of Japanese four-piece Bo Ningen all met in London for the first time. But the simple fact is, the foursome have pooled their collective love of shoegaze, heavy metal, and psychedelia alongside the energy and hunger of punk rock with such effortless ease – and it’s a joy to behold.
Line The Wall is the follow-up to 2010’s eponymous debut, and the opener ‘Soko’ sets the tone for what becomes an ear-blistering, whirlwind adventure. The fuzzy guitar openings and exquisitely cacophonous drumming, combined with an almost banshee like vocal, takes you away on a swirling and dreamy journey.
The slower paced ‘Daikaisei Part 1’ kicks off with a Sabbath-esque salute to the godfathers of heavy metal, while the high-pitched and seemingly schizophrenic wails of Taigen Kawabe build up and up, all the while swerving in, out, and around the repetitive, rhythmic drumbeats of Akihide Monna. Savages’ Jehnny Beth also makes an appearance and duets with Kawabe on a high octane re-working of ‘Nichijyou’.
It’s an album that at times sounds manic, deranged, and brutal, as is evident with the near 10-minute explosion that is ‘Daikaisei Parts 2 & 3’. However, the LP never fails to highlight Bo Ningen’s obvious musical prowess or their appreciation of a good melody, the latter of which is evident via ‘Ten To Sen’, which echoes My Bloody Valentine and Explosions In The Sky.
Key Track: ‘Daikaisei Parts 2 & 3’
This review was written for Tonedeaf (An Australian music site)