Formed back in 1992, Japanese, experimental heavy rock outfit Boris ((ボリス, Borisu) — currently core members Takeshi (vocals, bass, guitar), Wata (vocals, guitar, keys, accordion and echo) Atsuo (vocals, drums, percussion and electronics) with Mucho (drums) — settled on their current lineup in 1996. Since then, the members of Boris have tirelessly explored their own genre-defying take on heavy music.
The acclaimed Japanese heavy rock outfit released their landmark album Heavy Rocks back in 2002. Its original release only circulated domestically in Japan, leaving listeners globally eager for physical copies. As record pressings were in production, a fire broke out at the plant and the stamper was lost, rendering the album out-of-print for many years — and it quickly became a cult classic.
21 years after its original release, Third Man Records and Boris will be re-issuing Heavy Rocks (2002) on LP and digital formats for the first time ever, along with a CD re-press. The reissue, which will be out digitally on August 18, 2023 and physically on September 18, 2023 was restored from the original TD master.
The re-issue of Heavy Rocks (2002) will also coincide with a recently announced Stateside tour with Melvins this summer aand fall. The bands have circled each other with reverence for many years; they first played a show together in 1999 during Melvins’ first time in Japan, and ever since they have deepened their friendship and enjoyed opportunities to play together whenever possible.
For their first tour together, both bands will be playing a full set of material from their classic and beloved albums: Melvins will be playing material from 1991’s Bullhead and Boris will be playing material from Heavy Rocks 2022.
“Could anyone have predicted such an astonishing event, that Boris and Melvins would tour the entire USA together? Since the mid-1980’s, Melvins have had an enormous influence on artists of all genres not only limited to heavy music, and have brought forth a surge of faithful followers over the years,” Boris’ Takeshi says. “Needless to say, Boris is just one of these many bands influenced by the mighty Melvins, and we took our name from a song title off of the 1991 album, Bullhead.”
“40 years as the Melvins!!! What better way to celebrate that unlikely milestone than by setting off on the ‘Twins of Evil Tour’ with our friends Boris!!” Melvins’ Buzz Osbourne adds. “This will be a stone groove!” And as always, tour dates are below.
You can pre-order Heavy Rocks (2002) here. You can also check out a new line of Heavy Rocks merch here.
Last month, the acclaimed Japanese heavy outfit and Third Man Records shared the album’s opening track “Heavy Friends,” a sludgy and stormy dirge built around the sort of guitar solo work that would make Melvins and Soungarden very proud. The re-issue’s latest single “1970” is built around enormous power chords and a bluesy, glam metal-like groove paired with thunderous drumming and the acclaimed Japanese outfit’s unerring knack for a towering, arena rock sound. But unlike most of their other sounds, “1970” is playfully anachronistic with the song nodding at Metallica’s “Am I Evil.”
Play loudly and headbang, y’all.