British alternative rockers Boston Manor are back in the scene with their sophomore album “Welcome To The Neighbourhood”, set to be released next month via Pure Noise Records. Distinguished by a different take on lyrical and thematic content than their previous record “Be Nothing”, this second full-length album is bound to take its audience on a ride from beginning to end.
The initial pitch that brings in the title track and album opener successfully commences the storytelling experience that listeners will take part on with this album. Welcome To The Neighbourhood says it all, the focus of Boston Manor’s hometown of Blackpool throughout the album becomes evident from the start as we are welcomed to the neighbourhood, a fictionalised version of this English town.
The tempo builds up with Flowers In Your Dustbin, a track that is rich in guitar riffs and distortional vocals. The change in sound in comparison to the last album becomes more evident, however the alternative trademark of the pop-punk sound remains rooted to the rhythm of Boston Manor’s creations. Second single from the album, Halo, follows suit. The tempo remains relatively similar to the pervious track’s, however the recurring guitar effect that follows each chorus, as well as the other elements of electronic instrumentals allow this track to maintain its own individual and recognisable sound.
Once again, the guitar riffs of the following track are notable. England’s Dreaming, slows things down for a moment, but the satisfying heaviness of the track remains, allowing the delectable bass line to gleam through. Funeral Party is also completely distinguishable from the other tracks so far, introducing heavier screaming vocals and another stand-out bass part that give the track an exhilarating personality.
Things get slow once again with Digital Ghost, a track that appears to lean more towards the emo genre. Once again involving strained and screaming vocals, this song gives a taste of Boston Manor’s pervious sound. Tunnel Vision builds up into an upbeat song, also resembling a more pop-punk and emo track than the previous ones, fitting perfectly beside the previous one and creating a perfect flow into the next one. Bad Machine shifts the sound once again, returning to the electro-punk stream of the first tracks. Aside from already standing out for being the first single from the album, the recurring bassline of this track is another prominent element that, along with the impressive guitar instrumentals, give Bad Machine its own unique sound and personality.
If I Can’t Have It No One Can stands out particularly for its lyrical content. Touching on topics of toxic masculinity and abuse of authority, this track was inspired by an incident with police officers that occurred during the making of this same album. The message being delivered is quite clear, and lyrics such as “I am a big man, with lots of big guns” and “I always get my way so don’t you ever question me, don’t fuck with a man as big as me” really drive the point in a very transparent way.
Hate You has to be a personal favourite, and it’s yet another track that appears to adhere to more pop-punk conventions than the rest. However, this album has shown up until this point that cohesiveness does not respect genre, and regardless of conventions, each and every one of the songs has hit the nail on the head spot on. Following Hate You, is short and sweet FY1. Only a minute long and composed of unconventional sounds, it serves as an intermission and the chance to take a breather before entering the album closer territory.
Stick Up hypes up the audience for a last time with a quick rhythm again, using an upbeat drum pattern to drive the song from beginning to end. The guitars, both lead and rhythm create an effortless flow between one another that work cohesively with every other aspect of the song to create one solid piece of work. Finally, The Day That I Ruined Your Life enters slowly, building up power while never turning up the tempo. The amount of emotion that emits from this track, the build up of the instruments to create a powerful middle section, and the slow fade out into nothing but the finger-pickings of an acoustic guitar is what makes this track, by far, one of the best album closers I have ever had the pleasure to listen to.
Overall, “Welcome To The Neighbourhood” has effortlessly made its way up into my list of personally highly commended albums, and with no fear or doubts I can happily say to pop-punk lovers, nostalgic emo kids and new-wave alternative rockers alike, that this collection of songs is bound to leave a spot in your heart reserved for Boston Manor.
“Welcome To The Neighbourhood” will be released on September 7th via Pure Noise Records. Pre-order your copy HERE!