In 2012 Bo Ningen released their 2nd album Line The Wall on the Stolen Records label. Whilst their following album has a wider reach and appeal Line The Wall may end up being the album looked back upon as their defining recording.
Line The Wall brushes aside the notion that psychedelic rock is left behind in the 70’s. Added is manic swirling post punk jaunty patterns. From the booming wall of sound opener Soko which unimaginably sounds like mild Indie and Motorhead the album twists away with near constant surprises. Henkan goes for the jugular with sharp near J-Pop, it is both a stand out moment on the album and indeed the bands entire output to date.
Daikaisei Part I is a teaser for what is the bands spectacular live performance finale. After the jaunty previous track it is a reminder that Bo Ningen have a dreamily heavy side too. Nichijyou stabs and snakes around like Pop music has lost its crazy mind. Lyrics almost evoke Hip-Hop with their delivery style – a song with two gears – 1st & 5th – bizarre & brilliant.
Chitei Ningen Mogura offers 6 minutes of post music drone littered with angular tight turns. 32 Kaiten touches the sounds Hawkwind offered when they were relevant coupled with fresh math rock timing which builds to a dramatic climax. Ten To Sen steps away and is not a million miles away from Sonic Youth in places – it is soft where as Shin Ichi is a speaker shredder.
Line The Wall builds throughout its hour-long duration. It’s true peak is Daikaisei Part II, III. A phenomenal rock blast that does not belong in the past. Just shy of 10 minutes in length it has three distinct phases. The wall of sound. The sound of that wall being rocked apart with a continual power riff draped in a deep psychedelic haze. The track refusing to fade out burning in glory as it slows finally. Feedback, acid guitar blasts the kind of which I have not heard since the Hard-On’s late 80’s album Dickcheese – and just like the Hard-on’s the only real issue Bo Ningen have is they cannot capture the true essence of their blistering live performances on a recorded studio album.
Natsu No Nioi hushes Line The Wall out. A near lullaby. A comedown. Bo Ningen know the album has already tore up the rule book and almost apologise.
A band one really should experience live that have the possibility of crossing over further as they seemingly grow from strength to strength. Line The Wall is a great starting point to access one of the best live experiences you may find right now…