Saturday, 1 August 2020

The final lockdown

Yep, this really is it. Is This The Life? is going back to sleep. You may have noticed (or not) I've been doing some R.E.M. stuff for JC over at The (New) Vinyl Villain and will continue to do so. That's been fun up to now, far more fun than writing stuff for this place. Plus people actually read Jim's blog!

I'm signing off with something very loud, very heavy and very, very good. Japanese experimentalists Boris must be one of the most prolific bands in existence. Their discography is vast and complex so I'm not even going to hazard a guess at how many albums they've put out, but it's not unusual for them to release more than one album a year, with or without collaborators. No two albums sound the same, different styles are interwoven throughout their output over the years. Last year's 'LφVE & EVφL' sat proudly on my top 50 albums of 2019.

Boris' latest record was released a few weeks ago. Entitled 'NO', it harks back in places to their roots as a doom metal band, but it mainly has lots of of hardcore, thrash and black metal coursing through its veins. The songs are short - only three breach the five minute mark, with most clocking in at less than 3 - out of step with much of their other recent material. But these bursts of angry disgust provide the perfect soundtrack to our world right now. The band describes the album as "extreme healing music", a frantic catharsis in which the anger and frustrations many of us feel right now can be released in the form of a primal scream therapy with very, very loud guitars.

No, it's not for everybody, probably hardly anyone who's still reading, in fact. But for me, right now, this is aural heaven and is where this blog ends for the foreseeable future. I'm gone. Here's Anti-Gone. Stay safe.


  1. Bloody hell. Never has my over-used catchphrase 'splendid racket' felt more appropriate. Absolutely exhilarating stuff. I'm listening to this at 11.20 on Sunday evening, but I look forward to dropping back tomorrow morning when I'll be able to crank it out at an appropriately neighbour bothering volume.
    Sorry I haven't been around much since your re-launch, but I haven't really been around anywhere at all just lately to be honest. Take care Robster and don't be a stranger.

  2. Been fun while it lasted Robster. Come back soon.

  3. Recently rediscovered this blog, just sorry I'm a bit too late. Thanks for the passion about new musical discoveries that no-one else was on to. I'll check in occasionally in the hope there's something new from you. Cheers

  4. Cheers for the good times, Robster. (Is it wrong of me to hope for a second Covid wave to bring you out of retirement again...?) As with your staggeringly comprehensive R.E.M. posts over at The Guvnor's place, you're always welcome to contribute something over at my place. Who knows, I might even admit you wrote it! To quote Newport's second finest residents: Stay Safe as Fuck bra.

  5. Thanks for all the sounds