Boredoms

Super Roots, Super Roots 3, Super Roots 5
(Vice Records)

While they rose to prominence in America via a bewildering major-label deal and two high-profile stints on Lollapalooza, Japanese noise troupe Boredoms had been cult favorites for years leading up to their big break, with a slew of impish, onanistic and abrasive releases to their credit before Reprise dropped 1993's Pop Tatari on an unsuspecting marketplace. Unfortunately, as the grunge phenoms who'd endorsed them faded from the charts (or, in Kurt's case, mortality), Boredoms' stock plummeted, leaving 1994's subjectively safer-sounding Chocolate Synthesizer the last full-length of their Reprise contract. The return to obscurity proved positive, though, as the era that marked Boredoms' move from Reprise found the group — driven by founder, vocalist and sole constant Yamantaka Eye — moving into extended, trance-like jams that owed as much to 21st-century noise as they did to 1970s space-rock weirdoes Hawkwind and Amon Düül II. Long unavailable domestically, the Super Roots series from that phase finds Eye and drummer/Flaming Lips muse Yoshimi using EPs to feel out their new ground, with Super Roots 3 and 5 doing the most to apply sustained-drone principles to Boredoms' trademark rapid-fire noise. In February, Vice will additionally reissue volumes 6, 7 and 8 of the series, all of which are more curiosities; but if you want to hear how remarkably these early EPs helped Boredoms find their voice, bypass the lot and pick up 1998's epic Super ae instead.
 
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