Assorted scribblings of a dog-eared music journalist

Melody Maker | Album | 18 August 1990

Shimmy Disc

Psychoalphadiscobetaaudioaquadoloop is how Boredoms – a Japanese band whose six mmbers play pec machines, g-machines, veetos and pistols, as well as a couple of conventional instruments – describe their sound. It's hard to think of a more appropriate word.

Boredoms also claim that the theme of "Soul Discharge" is an all-day Northern Soul party, but they've obviously heard some mighty strange stories about the Wigan Casino. The opening track, "Bubblebop Shot", is like the Butthole Surfers, Happy Flowers and Extreme Noise Terror jamming Queen's "We Will Rock You" in a coal bunker. The rest of the LP is no less a magnificent headache, the drums and cymbals savagely thrashed throughout and the guitars making Tony Iommi's early work with Black Sabbath seem tame. Vocalist P-We YY's kamikaze screams, karate whoops, chained dog yelps and stuck pig squeals are amazing. So is his (or perhaps her) Jello Biafra impersonation.

A whistling noise buckles "Catastromix 99", whips crack every couple of seconds in "G-I-L 77" and the gently picked acoustic guitar at the start of "Sun, Gun, Run" is a ruse. The track turns out to be a first slobbering, then snarling, then growling, and finally snapping monster. Never touch a pec machine if it hasn't been fed. The be-bop-be-be-bop bit of "TV Scorpion" is dead catchy and "Z&U&T&A" and "JB Dick + Tin Turner Pussy Badsmell" are pretty self-explanatory. For "Jup-Na-Keeeeel", Bordoms planted a microphone in the surgery of a dentist who can't tell anaesthetic from anti-freeze. The band then drew straws to decide who would provide the vocals.

"Soul Discharge" could be perceived as a prehistoric or maybe a futuristic ritual. Or it could be the musical equivalent of a concrete mixer rammed into overdrive. Whichever it is, it's a hilarious and malicious test of endurance, everything that Clive James would have you believe about the Japanese and a lot more besides. To be specific, a big dollop of psychoalphadiscobetaaudioaquadoloop more.

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