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The Boredoms

Super Roots 1, 3, and 5 (Vice Records)

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Vice is a vapid hipster-shitrag, and its imprint has dropped some equally insipid turds (that new Vietnam disc). But some stale adage about credit should be inserted here, because the Vice media empire also reissues Boredoms music.

Forget about Captain Beefheart and Right Said Fred -- the Boredoms are the strangest and most important avant-pop act to ever worm its way onto a major label. In the '90s, Reprise released such spazzed-out, cartoon-punk weirdness as Pop Tatari and Chocolate Synthesizer, while the Boredoms opened for Nirvana, setting fire to hockey rinks and shaking Teen America out of its strip-mall daze. Of course, the chairman's white-collar thugs soon removed these renegades from corporate headquarters, but that didn't matter. The Boredoms had already entered their cocoon stage: the Super Roots series -- eight limited-edition EPs that saw them gradually transform into space-rock shamans.

Naturally, the early volumes (one through four) closely resemble the original Boredoms: ingeniously constructed collages exploding with shrieking girls, squealing synthesizers, stuttering grooves, and temper-tantrum noise. By five, however, the band starts investigating hyper-kaleidoscopic jamscapes like "Go!!!!!," a manic, electro-chunk of 21st-century psych-rock looking toward the group's 1998 masterwork Super Ae.

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