Guest Post by: Genesis Mihalko
When looking back over the past several years, so many pop punk artists have gone from being upcoming artists to one of the bigger names in the game, and Boston Manor is no exception. In 2016, the boys from Blackpool, United Kingdom decided to draw their line in the sand with their debut LP Stop Trying, Be Nothing. This full length release solidified the band’s sound, which mixed the pop punk genre with a nod to an edgier sound like that of the alternative metal scene. This album gave the band various touring opportunities; one of the major ones being when the band was given the chance to join the 2017 Vans Warped Tour. This experience put the band on the map, with thousands of people becoming exposed to the group, helping make their 2016 release all the more successful. Furthermore, when the talk of a new album hit the ground running in 2018, the world could not be silent and rightfully so. This album takes the traditional sound that the band initiates in “Stop Trying, Be Nothing” and innovates it to give the band a rounded sound that is uniquely them.
Wow, where do I even begin? This album is remarkable from front to back, side to side – really, in any way, shape, or form you decide to listen to this album, you won’t be upset. When first listening to the record, you’ll hear a mixture of blurred genres to create a cohesive sound, which is what makes up Boston Manor’s true musical aesthetic. For me, the album resonates as a metal album that still falls in the pop punk lines. This comes from the use of over-the-top instrumental breakdowns throughout various selections paired with overly memorable and catchy lyrical lines that are true to the pop punk brand.
Keeping this in mind, the band is able to pair some harder subject lines to the audience, for their music is pushing that harsher line. When going through the record, it is apparent that a lot of the tracks deal with substance use and recovery. This seems to be a common topic in the music scene right now. However, when listening to this album, that notion isn’t screaming in your face, because the way the band presents these feelings and scenarios makes it relatable to other situations as well. Having this all in their dustbin (pun intended) makes for an even more successful release, for their relatability is going to be sky high.
Taking a slight turn, I want to talk about some of these larger than life instrumentals, because it is a must. The layout of this album gives the audience a gradual increase in intensity, but there are some dips and tricks found throughout that make as well. When the band is representing their massive sound, they give each of their instrumentalists the opportunity to do their own thing as they are all fitting into one cohesive instrumental moment. This is done through different variations on the same musical theme, which adds depth and texture to those tracks in those sections. This contrast allows for the instrumental moments to explode, and be all the more impactful because of how different and strong they are.
Honestly, I could go on and on all day long about this album, but to sum it up: it is one of the best albums of 2018, if not the best. Boston Manor came into this year giving the kids an album that they can rock to, that they can lose their voice to as they scream it at the top of their lungs, and one they can relate to in their own way while experiencing thoughts and feelings many are struggling with today. 15/10 recommend: you won’t regret it!
Favorite tracks: “Flowers in Your Dustbin”, “England’s Dreaming”, “Hate You”
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Hello! I am Genesis Mihalko from the blog “What’s So Special About Music Anyways?”. I am from a small town in Pennsylvania about an hour shy of Pittsburgh. Music is pretty much the name of the game that I play 24/7, and if it’s not music related, it’s definitely driven by my obsession with my favorite TV show, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Also, follow me on twitter to practice your wit in song lyrics versus actual life events: @GMihalko15.