Do we really need another cover of Wham!‘s “Last Christmas?” Japanese experimental metal legends Boris think so. As the band puts it “We hope this Christmas will be the ‘Last Christmas’ of COVID-19” which is, um, sweet, I guess. That intention is a weird prism to look through if you think about the lyrics of “Last Christmas” so perhaps it’s best we don’t dwell on that.
Rather, we should dwell on the rather unique take this rather unique band has taken with a song that has been covered to death. Boris go full shoegaze (or nugaze, if you prefer), with extremely loud, My Bloody Valentine-esque distorted guitars mixed low enough as to not overwhelm the song, and pounding drums. The arrangement is rounded out by sweet vocals by co-lead singer Water, what sounds like a vibraphone and the ubiquitous Christmas sleigh bells that seem to find their way into half of the Christmas songs out there.
The result is one of the more distinct takes you’ll ever hear of a Christmas song, with enough of the melody of the original to remain faithful but so much swirling around in the background that you may, briefly, forget the normal way musicians play this song.