Boston Manor - Be Nothing
Blackpool, UK's native sons Boston Manor have officially landed on American shores with the release of their full length debut album Be Nothing. The 10 track effort is a masterful, cohesive collection of in your face pop-punk tunes that evoke the styles of their contemporaries and forefathers Brand New and Taking Back Sunday, but with their own modern sensibility that sets them far and away from the others, and sets the lads on a course that is destined for stardom almost immediately.
We kick things off with "Burn You Up" a solid, straightforward rocker with the outstanding vocals of frontman Henry Cox who gives the songs a vibrant color that permeates the entire musical backdrop, and fills in the surrounding foundations of the remaining tracks with effervescent energy. Far and away my favorite track off the album is "Lead Feet", a jaw dropping, melodic thunderbolt that is beyond cathartic in a sense that it cuts through to your emotional core almost immediately, with outstanding guitar work from Michael Cunniff and his brother Dan providing some excellent bass licks in the process that contributes to a track that represents the nerve center of the whole album, and the spirit and enthusiasm of the band in general. "Laika" is a dark tinged rocker that shows a different side of the band that we haven't experienced before, but gives the band some diversity and clout with killer drum beats from Jordan Pugh that gives the song a pulse and heartbeat, and allows listeners to jump in on the fray with its melodic interludes giving way.
The LP's second half features "Broken Glass" a deep, punctuating track that pours all the band's emotions on one blank canvas, and is swirled around with a convection of musicality that solidifies the band's resolve with Jordan Pugh adding some somber guitar riffs and providing for a tearjerker of sorts that continues to unravel different facets of the band's personalities that are beyond comprehension at this point. "Forget Me Not" provides more of the band's uptempo style that provides for some carefree reflection at the opportunities and prevails of your youth, with that hopeful reflection for what's to come and as we look ahead towards the rest of the album. "Stop Trying, Be Nothing" gets ready to close it out with a heavy hitting, percussion fueled affair with Henry's vocals once again leading the charge and showing the band's unrelenting energy and passion for connecting directly with the audience. "Fossa" ends it all here with a low key track that allows us to pause and reflect on the weaving tempos that we've encountered in our journey to the end of the album, and allows us to develop an impression of a band that are growing on us as we speak.
I've personally have had the pleasure of knowing the band for a few years now, dating back to 2013 when they were first featured on the "Towering Over London" Bandcamp compilation that I produced for the site, and I knew immediately that the band had a certain chemistry and connection that was mostly contained within the U.K. and hadn't crossed over the Atlantic to the States just yet. All that has changed, and now the five best mates have docked at port to the U.S.A., and we are ready to welcome them with open arms and show them that their time is now. Outstanding debut, highly recommended!
1. Burn You Up
2. Lead Feet
5. Broken Glass
6. Kill Your Conscience
7. Forget Me Not
8. This Song Is Dedicated To Nobody
9. Stop Trying, Be Nothing