Boys Night Out

Boys Night Out

Written by: PP on 25/06/2007 20:10:00

It was always going to be difficult for Boys Night Out to top their magnificent 2005 concept album "Trainwreck", that worked on multiple dimensions so well that I am still dissecting it from time to time finding new, previously undiscovered depths to it both lyrically and musically. After having released in many ways such a complete album, and thereafter deciding not to go with a concept album is obviously going to be a bit of a let down to many, because an album with eleven non-connected songs just feels a little less complex and appealing to someone like me who has spent hours upon hours studying all aspects of their previous album. But that doesn't necessarily mean that "Boys Night Out" is a bad album, or that it doesn't have any depth to it, however it does represent another new direction for the band and is their final breakaway from the screamo-pop punk genre they had been categorized in since their debut EP "Broken Bones And Bloody Kisses" in 2002.

The change in sound hasn't been as radical though as it was from "Make Yourself Sick" to "Trainwreck". Allowing myself to simplify things a bit, "Boys Night Out" is merely an extension into the more guitar-driven sound of the later part of "Trainwreck". You can sense the depth lurking underneath the guitar lines through the band's use of intricate chord progressions and curiously tuned riffs, where "Hey, Thanks" and "Swift And Unforgiving" represent that thinking outside of the box what that kind of musicianship requires. Old fans haven't been entirely forgotten though, as "The Heirs Of Error", the sole fast track on the CD, pumps up a "Make Yourself Sick"-style drumbeat with more simplistic guitars, and even features some faded-back screaming and gang vocals, though I must add here that the mixer-board has done a horrible job in capturing the raw energy in those passages by sending them to the background of the soundscape, contrary to what they were on "Make Yourself Sick", in effect making them sound tame and somewhat unfinished.

Connor's clean vocals have improved noticeably on the album, which is best visible on "Fall For The Drinker". It is a first to him to be able to extend his voice in such a convincing manner at both a low and a high range. "The Push And Pull" sees him use a similar scale-repetitive vocal style that we were familiarized with on the last album, but here too it is blended together with variant speeds and ranges like on all the other tracks on the album, making sure that it's not too simple to align with the overall vibe of complexity and depth that the album emits.

In summary, "Boys Night Out" is once again a noteworthy album from the band. It's not their best, as "Trainwreck" simply had far too many dimensions in it to be matched by a non-concept album, but it is by no means an album to write off. It could technically still be categorized under pop punk, but I feel their sound offers so much more instrumental credibility that it would be wrong to group them with the likes of Paramore and The Academy Is, whose music, although enjoyable, cannot be said to be intellectually satisfying. Nonetheless, Boys Night Out is clearly capable of writing plenty of singalongable choruses like the aforementioned bands, as evident on "Get Your Head Straight", but these are backed with enough instrumental complexity during the verses to keep you on your toes at all the time. Long story short, if you liked the musicianship on "Trainwreck" that was tuned more towards those who want their music slightly more intelligent than the chart-dominators, you will surely find "Boys Night Out" an enjoyable and credible piece of non-recyclable music, despite it somewhat lacking in the sense of an overall theme.

Download: Fall For The Drinker, Hey Thanks, Get Your Head Straight
For the fans of: Halifax, Gatsby's American Dream
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.06.2007

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