Friday, April 1, 2016
Record Review: Boar/Xome "Xome/Boar split" (Breaching Static)
[$15 // https://boarnoise.bandcamp.com/album/xome-boar-split]
I've always felt like a lot of people who are my age (or anywhere between 20 and 40, really) love vinyl because it was something handed down to them by their fathers and so in a way it became this bonding moment and saying something bad about records is like saying something bad about their dads. This may or may not hold water, for some of you I'm sure it does though, but my father never gave me his record collection though he has said in the last few years that he would, an offer I just haven't really taken him up on yet. I feel like my father and I are close enough that I don't have to cling to crates of records as if they are the friendship we never had or buy more records in hopes of pleasing him somehow.
All that being said, I believe- or did believe anyway, up until now- that there was a certain type of music that belonged on vinyl. I could listen to anything and everything on cassette because I am a cassette baby, but it takes a specific kind of sound for me to want to put on a record and that is usually of the psychedelic rock type. If you've ever seen the movie "Daze and Confused" you probably have an idea of what I'm talking about. Stoner jams for my boner fams. I don't know. I'm just making up words now.
The thing is, I listened to Boar for the first time on cassette and really enjoyed it. Something about cassettes always felt very raw to me while records were a bit more polished. (And don't get me started on CDs. They are the autotune of media) If you wanted to have that clean, crisp sound you went to records. If you didn't really care and just wanted music to be out there you would go to cassettes. I've always felt like music you would consider to be "noise" or "drone" should be on cassettes because cassettes brought the best out in it. And while I've admittedly listened to a few "noise" acts on record I still felt like vinyl was best reserved for... not "noise".
And then I listened to this Boar/Xome split and none of that mattered. It didn't matter that this was a record and wasn't a cassette. The sharpness of the vinyl seemed to only inflate some of the sharper screams within the songs and it made the despair in these songs hurt that much more. Essentially, the record actually brought out the best qualities of both of these artists, something I thought only cassettes could do. So I tore down my walls. I no longer believe that "noise" shouldn't be on vinyl because if it's great enough it will find that way to shine on through.
If you are not familiar with Boar you really should be. These songs are part drone and part mad man. It's that feeling of having your compact disc error and so it's skipping in this "dep-dep-dep-dep-dep-dep-dep" pattern which with enough looping becomes a sort of drone all its own. A total glitch freak out, lost in the windstorm and squeals for hamster wheels, Boar is proving to me that no matter how you hear these songs they need to be heard and they need to be felt.
This was my first time hearing Xome and if you like one of these two artists I am certain you will like the other. So just come through the looking glass with me, accept that you need to be listening to Boar and then let Xome into your home as well. Just don't fall asleep while listening to the Xome side because it can get pretty scary by the end and leave you with some most unwanted nightmares. Unless nightmares are your thing, then by all means, terrify yourself.
It takes a certain type of person to be able to say "Hey, this is good music, you should listen to it". It takes a certain type of person to create music which you can enjoy. But to not only be able to create music that I can enjoy but also win me over on the entire media known as records or vinyl or whatever... That is something apparently only Boar can do. I'm going to have to get used to saying I like cassettes and records but without comparing one to the other, thinking of them more as being apples and oranges, but at least I have a great soundtrack to change my mind to.