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By: Dino Irish
There is music meant for drinking. There is music meant for dancing. There is music meant for love, hate, laughing, and crying. Then there is the kind of music meant for long drives, while the world sleeps and the motor rumbles, where we can bathe ourselves in the lonely electric blues of the street lit night. The British indie-punk outfit Boston Manor’s new EP Saudade, their first American release, is exactly that kind of album. It puts on one hell of an introduction to the Stateside Scene. The four song EP, which is small even by EP standards, packs an emotional punch right from Jump Street, and doesn’t let up.
The four tracks on the album, “Gone”, “Trapped Nerve”, “Asleep at the Wheel”, and “Shade”, are clearly rooted in 90’s grunge-pop and Brit-pop. The album sounds like something that Everclear could’ve dropped back in the day, but laced with the florid clarity of Oasis and some of Phoenix’s electro-tinged emo tossed in for good measure. From beginning to end, the albums is drenched in chunky rhythm guitars, stinging leads, bouncy backbeats with touches of machine gun snare bursts, and the cool cadence of vocalist Henry Cox’s heartbreaking pleas, like “Wrap me in bedsheets” (Gone), and “Sleep for the rest of my days; Wish the world away” (Trapped Nerve).
Truth be told, the Saudade EP doesn’t offer much in the way of musical complexity or lyrical depth, which can be a death nail for most bands. However, we have seen it work in the past…think AC/DC or the Ramones…and Boston Manor deliver their jams with such earnest honesty and personal conviction that, unless you’re a music snob, it’s easy to overlook. They haven’t baited-and-switched anyone, or made promises they don’t make good on. They know their vibe, they know their sound, they know their audience, and they give them what they want. And these days, with most “artists” trying to cross over into territories that they don’t belong in, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a band that just Does what it Does, and Does it right.
Boston Manor’s Saudade EP might not stand up as an innovative or world-shattering album. But it could easily turn out to be one of those albums that inspires 15 year old outcasts from across the land to pick up some guitars, start a band, and cry to the world. And, you know what? That is a hell of a legacy to live with, and one that should gladly be taken.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “Trapped Nerve”