I know for sure I’m not the only one currently sitting at my desk, daydreaming about the good ol’ days, when walking to a sweaty venue every other day, grabing a drink and enjoying good music with pals was simple. Some may even say it was ordinary. But now it all seems so precious…. What is it with us humans taking everything for granted ?
Today’s the 1st day of May and coincidentaly it hit me that, on this exact day, I was supposed to fly out to England for a couple Boston Manor/Trophy Eyes shows. Quite a dream line up if you ask me – to support «GLUE», Boston Manor’s brand new and third album to date. Although the year 2020 and all shows have now been canceled, the album «GLUE» did come into our world.
It opens with “Everything is Ordinary” -a track that for its unexpected form, made waves when it was first released as a single a few months ago. The album then unfolds with a double statement. First of, Boston Manor keep elevating themselves artistically. Second of, the band will never do what’s expected of them since they are a band that has always been reluctant to being framed. And it shows as not one of their records sound the same. So now, here they are, exploring uncharted territories again.
“Are we just comfortably numb?”
The introductory song invites us to reflect on how we’re living in a new normal that shouldn’t be considered as such. It’s terrifying and angering, but also frustrating. Frustration and anger are what come out the most out of «GLUE» and it certainly is what fueled the record. Humankind is strange and judgemental but at the same time it is quick to forget and jump onto the next thing right away. It makes everything temporary in a world where nothing really matters anymore. Boston Manor address that in tracks like “1’s & 0’s”.
“Now I’m stuck in the mud and I don’t know what to do/I’ve got that sinking feeling, I’m calling out to you”
The World is a chaotic place, just as much as the process that took Boston Manor to writing these songs. A reflection of what is going on and what we can do about it. Many tracks are indeed chaotic in the way they sound. They are much heavier than anything the quintet has ever recorded before. It’s a good omen for future live performances, where the crowd will surely shout “Hey you, fuck you too/I’ll do what I want when I want to” (cf. “Monolith.”)
From toxic masculinity that’s taking a toll on our pairs more than we want to admit, to the visible severance between the generations; we’re all just viewers watching our own mess. Boston Manor’s unapologetic whistleblowing gives life to songs like “Monolith” and “You Me & the Class War” with boisterous drumming and complex distorted guitars.
Most importantly the Blackpool band invites us to create change. First for us and then, for the others. We should be honest with ourselves and understand that we must embrace growth and become our better selves. The poignant “Terrible Love” serves as a flag bearer for this message, through vocalist Henry Cox’s crushing singing, followed by delicate guitar lines.
In the end, what can we learn from ‘GLUE’?
Boston Manor used their critical thinking but also their ever growing platform to portray everything that’s wrong in the modern world. For that they created music that resonates with “guitar music” enthusiasts, from punk to indie, to alternative rock. This album is sonically well balanced and accurately punctuated. Between visceral heavy rhythms and more grounded, emotional sounds, Henry Cox’s powerful singing and shouting acts as an anchorage to the elements as a whole. Subtle layers of soundscapes finally come into play and highlight the band’s argument.
Through «GLUE», Boston Manor express what many of us have in the back of our heads and give us material to rely to. This is a body of work that all of us can cope differently, which wasn’t exactly the case with its predecesor «Welcome To The Neighbourhood». And it’s very necessary in times like these, where we can for once all take adavnatge of the time the situation has given us, to sit back and actually start deep-thinking.
“And I’m getting older, and I know that you are too/But we could live forever just show me what to do”
Boston Manor made a record that maps out the responsible grown up life our generation is reaching. Despite emerging from a dark place, «GLUE» moves towards a promising outcome and should overall be taken as a positive album. Rumor has it that this album saved the band itself in some ways and too them to a brighter place. Now that it’s available to the world, we recommend you to see what positive impact it can have on you too.
Released 01/05/2020 via Pure Noise Records