Release Date: 01/05/2020
Record Label: Pure Noise Records
For Fans Of: Trash Boat, Trophy Eyes, Like Pacific
Boston Manor are back with their third full-length album, GLUE, and it marks a clear different direction for the band by combining the melodic punk of their debut, Be Nothing, and the gloomy atmosphere of sophomore effort, Welcome To The Neighborhood. The record is angry, with a relentless viciousness cutting through it but carrying an important message within. It focuses on the state of society and the downward direction it seems to be heading in, the opposite trajectory of Boston Manor if this release is anything to go by.
GLUE embodies the frustration that vocalist Henry Cox and the rest of Boston Manor felt towards life at the time of writing, and tracks such as ‘1’s & 0’s’ show that the band had a lot they needed to get off their chest. Luckily for us the product of this frustration is a dose of unfiltered, frantic punk rock not suitable for the faint-hearted. Similarly, ‘Everything Is Ordinary’ doesn’t pull any punches with its abrasive delivery and unforgiving attitude towards a world they consider desensitized. No track epitomises the ‘call-to-arms’ spirit of GLUE quite like ‘Monolith’ featuring a chorus that deserves to be sung loud and proud at mammoth live shows. As the closing track on the album, and bigger in stature than anything Boston Manor have dared to produce before, you can’t help but feel these guys are on the cusp of something great.
The Blackpool five-piece also show a gentler nature at times, one that is still thoroughly pissed off, but conveying this in a friendlier fashion. ‘Plasticine Dreams’ sees the tempo temporarily drop but it’s an atmospheric track bubbling with soulful vibes and has the feel of a 90’s britpop/ track that The Verve would be proud of. ‘Terrible Love’ is a song that Cox says is all about his mental health, and it takes you on his haunting journey of self-scrutiny. In amidst the chaos sits ‘Stuck In The Mud’, wearing its heart on its sleeve for the whole world to see. There’s a fragility to the song and a pain beautifully underpinning it.
If you’re looking for an anthemic track to be the sound of your summer then look no further than the fantastic ‘Ratking’. It’s got tempo, a chorus with more hooks than a fishing boat, and provides another example of the flawless production GLUE has to offer. The entire album, front-to-back, feels like the real deal, the genuine article, and worthy of attention.
Boston Manor haven’t just made an album that will define their careers, it feels like a vibrant and fresh release that may well define today’s era of the pop-punk genre. GLUE is such a mature, polished effort that labelling it as pop-punk almost feels derogatory somehow, but whatever you want to label it as, it’s tremendous.
Recommended Track: ‘Ratking’