By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 7, 2008

“I like songs you can sing along with,” says Atsuo. “The songs I used to listen to when I was little, like anime themesongs, are totally ingrained into my memory. I like that sort of thing. Like when you can listen to a song tens of years later and still remember the lyrics and melody.” And he’s not kidding. A complete headphone journey through Smile will leave you with two memories: the scraping feedback assault you’ve just endured and the lush melody of the caustically luxuriant “You Were Holding an Umbrella,” a nine-minute epic that owes an equal sonic debt to Nick Drake, King Crimson, and the more extreme moments of My Bloody Valentine. How hard is it to navigate and reconcile such divergent musical paths?

“We no longer have any musical direction,” says Atsuo. “As a band, we’re through. I don’t feel like we’re making music, and I don’t feel like we’re in a band. Our work has become a vehicle for creating new experiences, through various means of expression. Of course, I love music. But because I love it, I feel like it’s that much more important for me to really mess with it, you know? I feel like these two conflicting emotions are always with me. And I think this is expressed in our music.”

BORIS + TORCHE + CLOUDS | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | July 11 at 9 pm | $15 | 617.864.EAST or www.mideastclub.com

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