Album Review: Boston Manor’s Be Nothing. (is everything but nothing)

bostonmanor

Released on: September 30, 2016

Record Label: Pure Noise Records

Genre: Rock

I discovered Boston Manor by sheer luck on Spotify. I would admit that I had a soft spot for  anything related to the state of Boston, and knowing that it was a post-hardcore/emo/punk bank fanned my enthusiasm further.

Upon further research, I found that the band had released two EPs (“Saudade” in 2015 & “Driftwood” in 2014) prior to the release of their very first LP that I was about to review. I’ve not heard of them and was surprised to learn that they have been a band for about 4 years now.

It’s also interesting to note that none of the songs in either EPs has been featured in this LP either – a good thing, as I usually see it as a lazy way to fill tracklists to make an LP an LP when bands do that; with a couple of exceptions such as Anarbor.

And contrary to what I was expecting, Boston Manor actually referred to “one of the ancient manors of Middlesex” in London. It comes with an interesting history that explains its Jacobean facade which stood the test of time way back from 16th century, and now it remains in what’s known as the Boston Manor park. There’s even an underground station named after it – do check out this wikipedia page if you’re interested to read all about it.

Honestly, one would never have guessed that this is the five-piece post-hardcore English band’s first full-length album from the very first guitar note that ignited the start to a kickass album in their first track “Burn You Up”. The song demonstrated the overall energetic and raw power Boston Manor had to offer, and as aptly sung by lead vocalist Henry Cox: You’d better get used to this.

The next track, “Lead Feet”, is one of my favourites from the album. The lyrics were impeccable, and the guitars and drums supplemented it perfectly. I do not quite understand the storyline behind the music video though.

 

The loud and raw emotions in the first few tracks were switched to a much more sombre mood in “Broken Glass“, which honestly, did not need much to accentuate Cox’s soothing vocals, although it later erupted to a fantastically distinct Boston Manor guitar riff for its ending verse.

The band reminded its listeners that they were better when they play it loud, which was evident in the following tracks “Kill Your Conscience” and “Cu“. There is a subliminal juxtaposition in lyrical sense next to Cox’s half-wails and melodic guitar riffs in these songs. “Forget Me Not” is arguably one of the best tracks of the album, especially for its catchy lyrics:

I’m trying to remember

Forgot the date of your birthday

But I suppose it doesn’t matter

You won’t remember anyway.

For a debut album, Be Nothing. is considerably one of the most well-produced post-hardcore/rock album of the year. Comparing to the veterans in the scene (*cough* A Day to *cough* Remember *cough*), Be Nothing. is a pop-punk masterpiece with its raw emotions that had been spilt over from its amazing songwriting sorcery and addictive guitar riffs. Their debut album successfully proved the band’s true potential that was previously not exemplified in their two EPs.

Boston Manor is definitely a band to watch out for, and in the words of Cox in “Burn You Up” – we had better get used to this  😉

OVERALL GRADE: B+

DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND LISTEN TO: Lead Feet, Broken Glass, Forget Me Not

TRACK LISTING:

  1. Burn You Up
  2. Lead Feet
  3. Laika
  4. Cu
  5. Broken Glass
  6. Kill Your Conscience
  7. Forget Me Not
  8. This Song is Dedicated to Nobody
  9. Stop Trying, Be Nothing.
  10. Fossa
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