Billy Boy In Poison

Dismissing Past Events EP

Written by: AP on 02/02/2009 14:55:48

Two years ago I crossed my fingers for this band, hoping they would take to heart some of the criticisms I outlined in the review of their demo, "Distilled Life". I stressed the need to either abandon the multiple and sudden changes in time signature, which had a tendency to break a single song into several incoherent parts, or sit down and find a way to build the math stuff into the songs. The potential was there, but the execution was half-assed. Now, two years and a handful of unreleased songs (which showed signs of addressing the issues of the demo) later, Billy Boy In Poison have narrowed their newer produce to a best of EP produced in the loving care of one Jacob Hansen and featuring three tracks worth of promise.

Metalcore, as we know, isn't something that Denmark can claim much credit for, despite the close proximity to the cradle of the genre, Gothenburg. Until recently, very few Danish bands have chosen to brandish metalcore as their weapon of choice - understandably, as it seems to be the target of growing dissent worldwide. What is happening now, though, is the emerging of a distinctly Danish-sounding splinter of the genre, something that BBiP along with their colleagues in Vira are at the forefront of. One of the band's strengths is the resistance to the stereotypes of the genre, taking the principles and forging a sound that is very much their own. The expression is less intense than that of Vira, focusing instead on solid groove and a much more melodic climate.

Perhaps the most dramatic difference to the band's past work is Björn's vocals. His vocals have improved tremendously; he has his technique fully under control, and this comes across via a new found confidence. Even so, however, they're still not as ballsy as they could be: some variety in the screaming/growling department would give the songs more texture and character. Not that they lack much of that on the instrumental side of things. The band's influences are as clear as ever, from the lingering background melody of "Down This Path", one of Adam Dutkiewicz's signature trades, through the attitude and Southern groove of "Guns Blazing" (Lamb Of God, anyone?) to the fast palm-muting, reminiscent of Parkway Drive, of "In The Blink Of An Eye", a six-plus-minute epic in which particularly Niclas lets rip and showcases the talent these guys have.

Lyrically the album moves from the melancholy of "Down This Path" to the no-bullshit, almost rock n' roll feel of "Guns Blazing", which is sure to divide opinions. The use of profanity in lyrics is, after all, the subject of much debate in metal circles and generally shunned in favor of more abstract, thoughtful lyrics. But when the lyric in question goes "I am the ultimate cowboy / I am motherfuckin' John Wayne", there really is no better way to put it. It's not supposed to be poetic. In any case, while "Dismissing Past Events" isn't by a long shot the pinnacle of originality, it does what it does damn well. Comparing the band's previous outing "Distilled Life" to this stuff now seems like contrasting two different bands. If these dudes keep at it, they, too, will soon play that sought-after Roskilde Festival show. Eyes open, Rikke.

Download: Down This Path, Guns Blazing, In The Blink Of An Eye

For the fans of: Parkway Drive, Vira

Listen: Myspace

Release date 05.12.2008


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