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Boris, ‘Smile’ (Southern Lord)

If Boris’s 2006 American breakthrough, Pink, was one long earthquake of speed metal, shoegaze, and stoner grunts and shouts, consider the Japanese sludge trio’s follow-up album the aftershock. There’s a slew of fast rockers that rattle teeth as hard as anything in the band’s catalog, but they’re clustered amid slower jams defined by sudden jolts of feedback and sheer drops into ambient gulches. More hooks (and cowbell) make Smile the band’s most accessible album, but Boris haven’t softened: Even when things get quiet, the rumble isn’t far off.

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