Autobiographical Order No. 213: Boris – Pink

I can probably write thousands of words about how I got into metal, and what the most important records in my discovery of heavy music were. In fact, I wrote a lot of words in 2015 about the life-changing metal albums in my own experience, which included Deftones, Baroness, Deafheaven and Slayer. But one album I didn’t write about, one that was actually pretty crucial, was Boris’ Pink.

In junior high and high school, I actually liked a lot of heavy music, both metal and hardcore, and my first real concert was seeing The Deftones at SOMA. But somewhere around college, or maybe my senior year of high school, I thought I was done with heavy music. I’m not sure if I thought I was too sophisticated or whatever, or maybe it’s because I was subscribing to some societal idea that these are adolescent concerns that no longer are relevant to a REAL ADULT MAN or some stupid thing, but yeah, I liked Iron and Wine. I wasn’t a metal guy.

Funny thing, though. In 2004 I heard Mastodon’s Leviathan and thought, “huh, maybe I still am a metal guy.” And then I heard Jesu, and thought “huh, yeah, maybe there’s something to this.” And then I heard Boris’ Pink, and thought “Hell yes I’m a metal guy!”

Pink is an interesting album. It’s really all over the place, with a mix of songs that are super sludgy (“Pink”) or shoegazey (“Farewell”) or droney (“Blackout”) or just straight up rock ‘n’ roll (“Woman on the Screen”). Pink became a favorite of mine pretty quickly, and ended up being a gateway to a lot of great heavy music in the ’00s, not to mention showing me that Southern Lord Records has a ton of great releases. It’s like a metal mixtape, it’s always changing shape and direction and it’s a whole lot of fun. And HEAVY!

There’s also a few different versions of this that exist. Boris routinely releases different versions of their albums with different mixes and edits of their songs. For Pink, which I found on red vinyl at the San Diego Record Show (!), it meant using a 2xLP vinyl format to release a longer version of the album. For instance, “Pseudo-Bread” and “My Machine” are each 10-minutes-plus in length, whereas on the CD the latter is just two minutes! Crazy.

This album kind of changed my viewpoint about heavy music in a lot of ways, not just making me excited about it again, but making me realize that it can take on so many different shapes that it defies stereotyping. Boris opened my eyes, and for that I’ll always hold them in high esteem.

(Btw, I interviewed them recently!)

Rating: 9.6

Sound Quality: Great

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