It seems a lifetime ago that Blackpool’s Boston Manor were travelling up and down the M55 to play support slot after support slot to Manchester’s thriving punk scene. After meeting hardcore outfit Throwing Stuff, the seasiders went onto release a split with the city punks through Moving North Records and haven’t looked back since.
Three years on Boston Manor have released their debut album Be Nothing, as well as setting out on their first headline UK tour with Can’t Swim and Wallflower.
Be Nothing is everything you’d expect from Boston Manor. Whilst they operate within a somewhat stale pop-punk scene, they’re one of the few bands who manage to fit into the genre comfortably, whilst also managing to defy expectations and bring something refreshing to the table.
Opening with Burn You Up the record instantly throws you in at the deep end, as radio static bleeds into a scream of: “Swallow your words” by vocalist Henry Cox. The track is everything you’d come to expect from the now known “Bozzy Mandem.” It’s hard, vicious and everything you’d want a pop-punk song to be in 2016.
Whilst the opener is all about Cox’s vocals, the follow up Lead Feet sees Jordan Pugh‘s drums and the guitars of Ash Wilson and Mike Cunniff come into there own. It’s a well produced pop-punk romp that showcases the talent of the band.
It’s in Be Nothing’s lead single in which the talent of Boston Manor really shines through. Named after the first dog in space, Laika is both lyrically and musically addictive. The track is apologetic as Cox plays over his past mistakes. It all builds to emphatic bridge that sees the frontman come crashing back down to earth in his clamour for forgiveness and help.
As Cu sees a dower opening lead into a whirlwind of aggression, it’s at this point that you begin to notice the sheer pace of the record, as it leaves the listener and the band in need of a breather. Broken Glass acts somewhat as that breather, as the track slows proceedings a little and shows off the bands depth in talent. Kill Your Conscience, Forget Me Not, This Song is Dedicated to No One and Stop Trying, Be Nothing all see the band soon return to their blistering pace as they touch on subjects such as loss, deception and the breakdown of relationships.
It’s in the record’s closer Fossa in which the band show their true strength in depth. The track is moody, emotional and is set to make for many big moments when performed live. Fossa is the best possible showpiece for an album that shows there’s life left in a genre that has become awash with mediocrity.
Standout Tracks: Laika, Forget Me Not, Fossa
For Fans Of: Leagues Apart, Moose Blood, The Smith Street Band
Written by: Daniel Rourke