Boston Manor - Welcome To The Neighbourhood
Review by Dom Vigil
Any time a band makes a drastic change in their sound, it can be daunting for both the listener and artist alike, but Welcome To The Neighbourhood, the new album from Blackpool-based five-piece Boston Manor couldn’t feel more confident. The follow-up to the band’s 2016 release, Be Nothing. finds them embracing their darker side and stepping away from their pop-punk roots for a fuller, more timeless sound. Although the band definitely hasn’t forgotten where they came from (that much can be heard on songs like “Halo”) they are moving forward and trying new things - and completely succeeding.
The eerie tone of Welcome To The Neighbourhood is set early on with the first track - a hip-hop influenced intro of sorts - and continues throughout every single song, from the more upbeat “Flowers In Your Dustbin” to darker, more aggressive tracks like “Funeral Party.”
Each song on the album stands out for different reasons, keeping listeners on their toes and keeping the band's new sound from feeling forced or stale. While “Halo” is a sing-along anthem, “England’s Dreaming” is dark, slow and heavy. Every single track brings something new to the table, but without making the album feel choppy or directionless. One song that fully encompases the album is “Bad Machine,” which has a little bit of everything, from vulnerable lyrics and dynamic vocals to a massive sonic range - this dark and heavy song still manages to utilize acoustic guitars at the very beginning. Another standout is the album’s crescendo and incredibly hard-hitting track, “If I Can’t Have It No One Can.”
The best thing about Welcome To The Neighbourhood is how seamless it feels. It never once sounds like Boston Manor are forcing this release, despite how far removed it may feel from their older material. The band truly shines on this massive album, from songs like the 90’s grunge influenced “England’s Dreaming” and the aggressive “Hate You” to the vulnerable and stripped down closer, “The Day I Ruined Your Life.” Welcome To The Neighbourhood is simply Boston Manor at their best.
LISTEN TO: "Halo" or "If I Can't Have It No One Can"
STAY CONNECTED WITH BOSTON MANOR: https://www.facebook.com/bostonmanoruk/