Label: Pure Noise Records
Released: 1st May 2020
If the last year of our lives have been a Black Mirror episode then Boston Manor have provided the soundtrack to it with ‘GLUE’.
It’s a Clockwork Orange style sensory overload with the assault of opening tracks ‘Everything Is Ordinary Now’ followed by the industrial, artillery style, drumming, of ‘1’s & 0’s’ which feels directly influenced by ‘The Downward Spiral’ era Nine Inch Nails.
And if the sound wasn’t enough of a slap in the face then the subject matter is with those tracks taking on our numbness to the plight of the world around us and the growing chasm between generations in a post- Brexit world respectively.
Yeah, Boston Manor aren’t pulling any punches in this one.
It’s not always so confrontational in its method as ‘High On A Ledge’ is the drugged, floaty, backdrop to an important take on toxic masculinity and ‘Terrible Love’ delivers singer Henry Cox at his most vulnerable as he wallows in his self depreciation.
The point of the album is to tackle all that unites us in 2020 even if our opinions fall on different sides of the fence. It’s ambitious but unwavering in its determination to hold a mirror up to the world on politics, mental health, terrorism and the mass media. “Has the world gone mad today?” Henry asks on ‘Only 1’, somehow managing to not come across like he is preaching but genuinely trying to hold open people’s eyelids to make them see the world warts and all.
In order to capture that frustration and anger upon which the album is built, ‘GLUE’ is a more subtle departure from the moody alt-rock of ‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’ but not as big a leap than the one they made from their pop-punk roots.
Ultimately, ‘GLUE’ is heavy; for its subject matter and its sound but it pits Boston Manor against the world and they come out the other side of it all unscathed.