Bosse-de-Nage - A Mimesis Of Purpose

Last week, we premiered a song by one of my favorite new metal bands, Flourishing, from Brooklyn. Today, we’ve got another — this one from San Francisco’s Bosse-de-Nage. I refer to these bands as “new” partly because of their relative youth (both bands’ first official releases arrived in 2010), but also because their approach to the genre is totally unorthodox and entirely fresh; frankly, referring to either band as “metal” is inherently reductive. Flourishing could just as easily be a noise-rock and death metal-influenced industrial band. Bosse-de-Nage, meanwhile, are more often compared to (and more like) Slint than they are any metal band. This is partly because of certain aesthetic inclusions: whispery spoken-word passages, quiet-loud-quiet-white-noise-chaos dynamics. But I think, too, both Slint and Bosse-de-Nage have an indefinable spookiness at their respective cores, and a vastness — each seems to be communicating something of great paranoid urgency, something that rejects language. BDN’s militaristic drums could be lifted from a Godspeed record, their guitars feel like My Bloody Valentine; when they shift into gruesome, angular black-metal anthemry, it’s Burzum-esque in symphonic scope, with the raw fury of Funeral Mist. Bosse-de-Nage made a major breakthrough last year with their totally essential sophomore album, ii, released on the excellent San Francisco-based label the Flenser. The band’s 2012 LP, iii, further explores their avant-garde tendencies, and while it may not be as revelatory as ii, it’s every bit as outstanding. That album was released on Profound Lore, which has been for the last several years (and continues to be) the finest underground and experimental metal label on Earth. However, Bosse-de-Nage have returned to the Flenser for a split single with fellow Bay Area metal insurgents Deafheaven (who use their side to drop a killer cover of Mogwai’s “Punk Rock / Cody”). On the flip, BDN deliver a new original, the nine-minute “A Mimesis Of Purpose,” which we’ve got here for you to stream. Check out the song below and buy the record, then go back and buy iii and ii, if you haven’t already. It’s head-rattling rush. Listen.

The Deafheaven/Bosse-de-Nage split is available for pre-order via the Flenser.

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Comments (7)
  1. Jeez. The once-in-a-blue moon that metal is promoted on stereogum, and ya’ll gotta compare to Slint, Godspeed, My Bloody Valentine and throw in a Mogwai just for good measure just to grab the indie kids attention. I’m just here to let you know you don’t have to do that. Those of us that are interested in metal can obviously handle it without being pandered to.

    • 1. I mention in the first sentence that we did a metal story last Wednesday! We’ll have another tomorrow! We just published a list-post with a Hammers Of Misfortune entry!

      2. I also compare it to Funeral Mist and Burzum!

      3. People compare BDN to Slint the way people used to compare Interpol to Joy Division! Read PFL’s bio of the band!

      4. Those elements of their sound are reminiscent of MBV and Godspeed! Should I say they sound like Darkthrone instead?

      5. OMG Deafheaven cover a Mogwai song on the split! Blame them for pandering! Or just listen to the record because it’s fucking great, and because both bands are experimenting with the genre in totally different and pretty exciting ways!

      6. Gah! Sorry for the exclamation points. Long day.

      • Also, FWIW, I think there are plenty of metal-curious Stereogum readers who’d like BDN who might benefit from seeing references to bands they know already. I don’t think being inclusive is the same as pandering (and again, it’s not as though those comparisons aren’t warranted).

        • I concede to you on points 1,2 and 5, but on the rest we will just have to agree to disagree. Because the thing is, if a person has an indie-centric music view of the world and that’s the only way they can appreciate metal is if you keep comparing metal bands to Morrissey or Passion Pit, then fuck those people. I think people need to learn appreciate metal, rap or anything else on the genres own terms and not in a way that’s predisposed to their own personal biases.

          • Yup. I’m primarily a metal fan, but when I was curious about hip hop I didn’t look for metallized hip hop, I went for Wu-Tang, Public Enemy, and Erik B & Rakim. When I was curious about jazz I didn’t look for the most metallic jazz, I went for Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane.

            This “pandering”, as you call it, reflects the all too frequent critical narrative that metal doesn’t stand on its own two feet, and it only got interesting post-2000 when bands started assimilating much more palatable influences.

            I see what the writer is trying to do. But there are too many people who listen to modern, indie friendly metal but wouldn’t even give a classic Megadeth or Morbid Angel album the time of day. Music writers need to help them realize how short-sighted that attitude is.

          • If you don’t put in the time and effort to ground yourself in the language and conventions of metal, how will you learn to hear it as anything other than indie which is a little rough around the edges? An indie friend of mine was under the impression that metal was just (conventionally) beautiful music, but distorted. What a superfluous genre if that were the case.

  2. Damn, that’s good.

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