LP Review; Boston Manor: “GLUE”

The Album:

After a sensational release in 2018, fans were stirring for some new music by Boston Manor. So, when there was talk of a new album earlier in 2020, the masses went completely crazy. Let’s look and see if all the hype was worth it. It is notable from the jump that the band is making a clear shift in their band’s characteristic sound with this record. Their previous sound merged the standard pop punk sound with the aggressive edge of alternative genre music. Each track on this album resonates with an electronic gloss over it. This makes for a more modern flair to their sound, which roots them more in the alternative pop category with a dash of punk (for most tracks). Now, there are some selections on the work that blend both styles heard by the band, which meshes together to create over-the-top tunes that will appeal to many audience members. Throughout the record, it is heard that the band makes the lyrics the focal point, and the instrumentals occur in support of that. There are a few instrumental accents and breakdowns heard here and there, but for the most part, everything aids and supports the lyrical lines. Overall, I would give this album a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this record such a score, for there are a few tracks that resonate in a positive light, while supporting the band’s new approach to music. However, the majority of the album feels outdated while being technologically current, which creates music that feels repetitive.

 

Top Tracks:

“Monolith”, “Only1”, and “You, Me & the Class War”

Throughout this album there are some clear solid musical moments, but when one listens from front to back, it is evident that these are the clear frontrunners of the work. As one makes their way through this record, it is apparent that the band has taken a clear shift with their sound. However, the band does include moments, where they blend their new approach to music with their old aesthetic, and that is why these tracks stick out compared to the rest. If you are looking for tunes that act as good transitional material into the band’s new sound: I would start here.

 

The Artwork:

 When looking at the album at first glance, the cover resonates as one that would fit the Boston Manor brand. The image is quite graphic but oddly minimalistic. The artwork depicts a person in a hazmat suit- kneeling outside of what looks to be an abandoned building. The building has busted windows that only show black, and the front of the building has a light to dark grey finish. With that in mind, let’s take a look and see if the music that falls on the inside matches the image. Throughout the record, it can be heard that a lot of the lyrical lines drive on the idea of isolation and war. This connects to the cover image, for the cover art screams abandoned, when looking at the building. When you turn your attention to the person that is also on the cover, it is evident that he is alone, but his stance could be read as he is getting ready to attack, or maybe he is kneeling down and taking a moment for himself. Both of these lanes connect to the idea of war and isolation which helps to connect the artwork to the music that falls on the inside. I believe that the two stand okay on their own, and their relationship, together, follows a similar model.

*”Glue” was released on May 1st, 2020 through Pure Noise Records.

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