Boris & Ian Atsbury – BXI

Reviewed: January 2011
Released: 2010, Souther Lord
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

I’m not sure what sparked the idea of a collaboration between Japanese favorites Boris and The Cult’s Ian Atsbury, but after listening to the resulting BXI EP, I can only assume it was because they sound good together. BXI combines a more grounded version of Boris, swinging some solidly straightforward riffs, with Atsbury’s inimitable croon for a four track of international goodness.

Atsbury’s always had the kind of voice that begged for a heavier soundtrack than The Cult can offer, so hearing his delivery on these tunes is a real treat. Opening with the ballad-esque “Teeth and Claws,” it’s a heavy, downtrodden alt-rock tune that’s well put together. “We Are Witches” is the most up-tempo of the set, and sounds like Kyuss on steroids. The guitars are full and nasty, and Atsbury’s vocal swagger makes you remember why you loved the guy to begin with. “Rain” is the obligatory cover tune, sung by Boris’ Wata. It’s thankfully a heavier version of the classic song, and Wata’s feminine vocal whispers provide a stark contrast to the song’s low, bottom end delivery. And “Magickal Child” is a sweeping, dirge like track that allows Atsbury to really stretch his legs and wail a bit on top of a simple, doom laden backdrop.

At a scant 20-minute run-time, BXI is over almost as soon as it starts. Yeah, I know, it’s an EP. But the 3 new tracks are all strong and complimentary of each other – I really wanted to hear more. Boris is a creative juggernaut on its own, and Ian Atsbury has a voice built for doom riffs, so what’s not to like? My fingers are crossed that there’s some leftover tracks sitting somewhere waiting to be released. BXI is available now through Southern Lord.


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Track Listing:
1. Teeth and Claws
2. We Are Witches
3. Rain (The Cult cover)
4. Magickal Child

Takeshi Ohtani – Bass, Guitar
Wata – Guitar, Vocals
Atsuo Mizuno – Drums
Ian Atsbury – Vocals