Blackpool quintet Boston Manor have returned with their third LP, ‘Glue’, a record that not only continues with the group’s rapid sonic transformations but also serves as a catalyst to make us contemplate on the current state of affairs.
Pulsing synths and twisted melodies accompany the punk flavoured opener, ‘Everything Is Ordinary’, as vocalist Henry Cox delivers an impassioned plea on complacency. Whilst the synth punk stylings are a departure from their grunge flavoured sophomore release, ‘Welcome The The Neighbourhood’, the punk foundations are firmly still in place.
This is highlighted further by follow-up track and rallying cry, ‘1’s And 0’s’. Furious, passionate, and filled with twisted melodies and bouncing grooves, the concise track gives a taste of the socio-political aspects of ‘Glue’. Launching into lead single, ‘Plasticine Dreams’, guitarists Michael Cunniff and Ash Wilson merge psychedelic melodies and stacked distortion to create a new avenue to venture.
On this record, the band continue to seek out new influences, and as ‘Glue’ unfolds, so do their abilities. A far cry from the pop-punk of their 2016 debut, tracks such as ‘Terrible Love’ and ‘On A High Ledge’ display a sombre and vulnerable aspect to the group, and one that hinges on the conviction of Cox‘s lyrics and the rhythmic foundations of Jordan Pugh.
This isn’t to say that ‘Glue’ is a record that wades through melancholy and mid-tempo numbers, as ‘Only1’ and ‘You, Me & The Class War’ reveal post-hardcore tinged iterations of their new sonic playing field. With the former revelling in arresting screams and delectable harmonies, whilst the latter revisits the claustrophobic structures of ‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’, the second half of the record plays with the versatility of the quintet.
As the record plays through, it becomes evident that not only are Boston Manor comfortable within their abilities, as the attesting and streamlined ‘Brand New Kids’ shows, but also uses its songs as a platform to question the society that surrounds us, as the curious and probing lyrics to ‘Ratking’ questions humanity’s inability to work together.
Closing with the roaring ‘Monolith’, Boston Manor manages to conclude their strongest record to date with a burst of energy and defiance. Going from strength-to-strength, ‘Glue’ is the sound of a band disregarding the box they have been put in and presenting a record that questions its surroundings.