The Wax Conspiracy

Boredoms - Pop Tatari

I've owned Pop Tatari by Japanese noise-rock band the Boredoms for a few years now. I decided to review it because I had nothing to do as I was listening to it.

I have no idea where I first heard of the Boredoms. I think the first thing that I heard about them was that they would routinely open concerts by having two of the members, EYE and Yama-motor, run from opposite sides of the stage and crash into each other.
Also, I think that the Boredoms being called the Boredoms also sold me on the Boredoms. Boredoms.
Whichever way, the nice folks at allmusic informed me that the Boredoms album to own was Pop Tatari. As luck would have it Utopia records in the city had a copy of that particular CD, and on sale too.
"Kismet," says I.

At first listen Pop Tatari sounds like a bunch of deranged Japanese people randomly bashing away at their instruments and screaming gibberish over the resulting din.
I was kind of suspicious of the album when I realised that the first song, Noise Ramones, was nothing more than a whole bunch of high pitched sounds that, to this day, still give me a headache.
In fact, I was at first so disappointed with the CD that I couldn't listen to it the whole way through. It was just nonsense, noise.
I'd never heard anything so shit in my entire life; you'd swear that they purposefully tried to ruin a perfectly good album by screaming like retarded horses over the music and singing.

However, I forced myself to listen to it. Bit by bit the CD grew on me.
Now, by this I don't mean that I got used to it, but rather that it slowly dawned on me what great musicians the Boredoms were and what a great CD Pop Tatari is.
Pop Tatari, like most Boredoms releases, is almost esoteric in nature. They're not the type of CDs that are digested easily. You have to be really dedicated to be able to sit through the album enough times so that it can finally begin revealing its juicy little secrets to you.
See, behind all of the screaming and the noise, the Boredoms have written (well, half-written, half-improvised) a bunch of really amazing songs.
For example, the fourth song, Bo Go, is actually an excellent funk song. In fact, most of the album sounds like it's a pastiche of sorts.
Some songs sound punk-like, some sound like weird electronica, some sound funky, some jazzy, etc.
It's during and between these songs, however, that you have EYE and whoever else moaning and screaming and yelping like crazy, and it's the weird screaming that is most difficult to come to terms with, but, once you do, baby... oh, Lordy, it's fantastic!

The album art of the CD is also really strange; some of it is taken from live photographs and feature, of all things, bare-breasted go-go dancers with, what look like, gigantic, inflatable horns extending from between their legs.

Incidentally, the Boredoms and Ween would later on collaborate on an album called Z-Rock Hawaii. That album included a song called In the Garden which features the lyrics:
There's... there's a lovely garden
Full of sticks, sticks and leaves
There's... there's a lovely garden
Full of sticks, and the chicks with dicks
Girls with pricks, and lepers with peckers
Jewels with tools, and muffins with stuffing's
All for nothing, I think I'm gonna cut you"

It, too, was great.

Belvedere Jehosophat

Reviewed on Thursday, 3 July 2003

The Wax Conspiracy



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