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Ian Astbury | BXI review NY Times

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BORIS & IAN ASTBURY
“BXI”
(Southern Lord)


Ian Astbury was the singer for the English rock band the Cult, a million-selling band in the mid-1980s, and more recently took on Jim Morrison’s role for the reunion of the Doors. Mr. Astbury has a voice of oily allure and weary charisma; it’s a baritone croon graduating to a shriek, with thick vibrato at the end of a line. He’s a one-man factory of late Romantic affect who never seemed properly of his own era.
Boris, the Japanese underground rock band, feels atemporal too, channeling various sources of power-trio acid rock without suggesting what it might be under the borrowings. The group represents one giant flourish, impossibly cool. Together, Mr. Astbury and Boris are strange and powerful, smoky and drippy, like ripe peaches and truffle honey. They sound momentous, as if there were a million-dollar budget supporting them.
“BXI,” their four-song collaboration on the small and resourceful metal label Southern Lord, is flashy and impenetrable, a loud fantasy of deep space. It’s got a huge drum sound, heroic riffing and crude, art-brut guitar solos just when your ears expect virtuosity. On the three tracks that feature Mr. Astbury — on the fourth, Boris’s female guitarist, Wata, sings the old Cult song “Rain” in a little-girl voice — he doesn’t deliver his most polished vocal performance; he sounds a little grizzled as he punctuates his lines with “yeah!” and “no!,” depending on the context of the first-person narrator, conquering hero or fatalistic philosopher.
But the record’s charm lies in those little discrepancies and uncertainties. He’s an old pro, thrown into a strange situation and working hard. Here and there he sounds hesitant, like an actor who hasn’t quite worked out his motivation as he sings lines like “standing there like a victim will only get you killed” or “the forest knows how you feel.”

BEN RATLIFF

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Ian Astbury @ The Strombo Show PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 April 2008

Sunday April 13th Ian Astbury played Holy Mountain and talked to George at The Strombo Show, 2pm - 5 pm.

http://www.thestromboshow.ca/

 

Download the MP3 files here: 

Ian Astbury @ The Strombo Show Pt.1

Acoustic Performance :: Holy Mountain 

Ian Astbury @ The Strombo Show Pt. 2

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