LP Review; Boston Manor: “Welcome to the Neighbourhood”

The Album:

In more recent years, Boston Manor released their single “Drowned in Gold”, which made audiences die in anticipation for a full-length release that pulled similar influences and musical techniques to make their musical hearts explode. So, it was not, at all, a surprise when the band announced their LP, the masses started to build the hype from that moment and onward. Spoiler alert: this will likely be the (and I mean THE) album of the year. Diving into the album, it is apparent from the first few seconds of the record that this is going to be a Boston Manor staple, for their characteristic sound bursts through the seams almost instantaneously. Moving from this, the band gives their listeners various amounts of contrast moving from track to track, for they will often give their audience moments where the instrumentation is packed thick to the point where all the instrumental lines are doing something on their own; however, they eventually all come together to create a cohesive sound. On the other hand, the band also utilizes a high amount of instrumental fluctuation, which allows for strong moments of vocal isolation. These moments allow the band to take the audience on a roller coaster of emotions through the various musical techniques they are able to slip in here and there, which will cause every selection on the record to resonate in a different light. This will give each song its own, unique identity; however, even though they can stand on their own, when looking at the album, conceptually, each track links up together to create one, large musical idea. Keeping all of this in mind, it is no surprise that the band gives the audience over the top instrumentals where they can dig into their own part as the vocalist pushes hard-hitting lyrics over and over again. This makes the album more appealing to the listeners, for it hits them instrumentally, but it also gives them lyrical content they can connect with, which will enhance its likability. Overall, I am giving this album a 5 out of 5 stars. This album is completely breathtaking, and will strike audience members upon their first listen. This album gives the listeners a groove continuously from front to back, and as they do that, they are giving them musical content that is simply mesmerizing, for it just draws people in with its phenomenal nature.

Top Tracks:

“Flowers in Your Dustbin”, “Hate You”, and “Stick Up”

As stated in the general review, each song off this record has its own identity and is absolutely fantastic as an individual. However, when listening to this album from front to back, it is obvious that these tracks stick out among the pack and just smack the listeners in the face because they are musically that good. These specific selections take the audience on a different emotional roller coaster throughout each piece, which amplifies the exact emotion that that track is enforcing. To continue, these songs don’t simply talk about the emotion; rather, the audience member can feel the specific emotion come to life through the song itself. In general, each track on this album is a must, but these songs are the “it” of this album, so do yourself a favor, and check them out.

The Artwork:

When first glancing at this album artwork, it may startle the audience, for the picture on the cover is a bit ominous; meaning, the artwork is amplifying a scene that falls on the darker side of the spectrum compared to other cheerful approaches that many other bands in the scene utilize throughout their cover art. This isn’t necessarily a bad tactic for the band, for it gives the audience something completely different, which will enhance their interest before hearing even one track from the album. When comparing the music from the album to the artwork presented on the cover, it can easily be said that the two marry perfectly. The music on the album, as stated in the general review, is very hard-hitting, especially when referring to the lyrical content. This is enhanced by the cover art, for the scene is feeding the audience a variety of emotions just by that captured moment in time. The artwork is showing a car that is still on; however, the driver is lying on the ground, appearing to be scared or unconscious, and standing in front of the driver is a tale male in a ski mask, who is also wearing all black. The scene itself seems to be taking place in a civilian’s yard of sorts, and to add to the dramatic effect, it is also taking place at night time. Taking this all into consideration when listening to the music, it is a fair assumption that the feelings and emotions that the band is portraying throughout all thirteen tracks on the album, can be felt when allowing your mind to drift with the imagery from this scenario. Furthermore, the artwork that represents this record is absolutely breathtaking, which matches perfectly with all the lyrical and instrumental techniques that the band utilizes throughout the album.

*”Welcome to the Neighbourhood” was released on September 7, 2018 through Pure Noise Records.

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