Often, when faced with modern art, people comment that it simply seems like paint thrown against the canvas, a form of art with no definitive shape, and therefore not emotionally connecting as there is no solid idea of what exactly it is. Much the same, in many ways, is Bossk. The band blends a wide range of genres, mixing post rock, post hardcore, and post metal into a sound that comes off as beautiful, immersive sonic landscapes, drawing the listener in, while still challenging them and making it difficult to truly settle into the record all at once. There is no defined groove to Bossk’s sound, no strict formula to follow, and the songs reflect this, peacocks spreading their plumage for the world to see. All of this is exactly what makes their newest offering, Audio Noir, so very enticing, as they expand on their mad descent into a maelstrom of different genres while still extending a hand out to fans of acts such as Neurosis and Sigur Rós.
First of all, the genre tag “post everything” seems almost too lazy a descriptor, as if the one who had prescribed it had done very little actual listening into the band before saying “Hey, here are some ambient parts, here’s some where they yell, bam! Post everything.”. However, with Bossk, the genre could not be more fitting. Take for example, the track “Kobe”, which, for the first few minutes of its run time, provides a beautiful, ambient build up that would not seem out of place on a post rock album before launching into a doomy, sludgy interlude all tied together with a perfect post-metal bark. The song truly does transition, holding a fair amount of both post rock and post metal, but many bands do that, and if all of them were simply labelled “post everything”, it would quickly become a trite, boring term with very little actual meaning.
Luckily for us, however, that Bossk is not one of those bands, and while they play a fair amount with switching between the two genres, where they truly find their strength is when they are blending the two together in fuzzed out acts of ambient leaning post metal, such as on “Atom Smasher”. With this track, the band completely pulverizes whatever line in the sand there may have been between the two genres, and lays down such heavy, driving post metal as to make the earth shake, all while maintaining a layer of fuzz and ambiance in the background to keep the whole thing feeling rather airy and spacey. It is an odd combination of a track which you could drive down the high way blasting, wind in your face, or sit in a dark corner attempting to desperately come down from an acid trip to. Bossk is more than capable of handling this delicate balance, and their obvious delight in seeing just how far they can swing it to either side makes the entire process that much more enjoyable.
Much like the namesake of the album (with noir meaning to count the black spaces in roulette), Bossk is a band that is sonically unafraid to take risks. They blend huge tidal waves of sound with soft trickles of water, somehow managing to balance the two, and allowing the weaker force of nature to shine through in the destructive wake of the other. They are masters of their craft, and have truly set the stage for their peers in newer acts such as He Whose Ox Is Gored and other like minded acts. However, with that being said, this “post everything” ideology is becoming more common nowadays, and with everything new musical trend, it is easy to lose those who were once innovators in a fray of new acts who expand upon their original formula. Bossk’s spontaneous nature allows them to survive for now, and most likely for a very long time after, but it is worthing noting that at some point Bossk will be forced to be expand even out of that territory, and that is when their magnum opus will truly come about.