Boy Hits Car

The Passage

Written by: PP on 23/08/2007 01:41:14

Self-proclaimed 'lovecore' act Boy Hits Car is more known for their vocalist's insane stage dives (he holds the world record of the biggest ever recorded stage dive, 63 feet high) than for their music, which is a shame, because they combine the best parts of emotional hardcore and the darker experimental hard rock Incubus was known for during their "S.C.I.E.N.C.E" era. The tag 'lovecore' fits them well, as "The Passage" is a heartfelt record full of love stories and engaging emotional outbursts, but it is also why this band has never received the recognition it deserves. While other emo bands went for a heavy sound drawing from hardcore, Boy Hits Car went the opposite way, utilizing a 12-string guitar to create solid riffs and acoustic interplays to soften up the album to the whole 'lovecore' theme, and were thus frowned upon by the trend-following radios and TV stations. "The Passage" was actually self-released by the band already in 2005 because they were label-less at the time, so the first task their new label Golf Records had was to get this CD released worldwide, since it had been nearly impossible to find the record outside of the US at the time (I had been drooling for it until I finally got a copy of it recently!). It also reminds us that the band exists, and that they are surely working on a new record to remind us all that music can sound different in 2007 without having to sound all weird.

The first half of the album is strongest. "Tonight" sounds probably the closest to the band's old sound on their 2001 debut, bringing back their inimitable ability to write passionate songs that are mostly acoustic and contain very little screaming. The chorus is great, and the electric/acoustic guitar dynamic works brilliantly. "Escape The World" continues straight where "Tonight" left off, except its chorus is about five times more infectious. It's a song that Incubus could've written after "SCIENCE" if they hadn't gone towards the more mellow "Make Yourself" direction. Rondell's extended vocals float high above the instruments in the chorus, giving it an extra powerful feel, begging you to sing-shout along to the prolonged parts. "The Sound Of A Breaking Heart" follows the same pattern, until my personal favorite "These Burning Memories" comes up. It starts with beautiful, whisperous vocals that seem to betray all the norms about verse pitch you are used to from other bands, and then the vocals just explode into one massive scream-shout "GONE!!!" - an incredible beginning if you ask me. It's also a little bit less obvious than the songs before it, and somehow just sounds more convincing to my ears. "Love's Subtle Scheme" sounds like old Incubus again, until the bridge guitar experimentation that remotely calls for a parallel to Tom Morello during "Renegades".

But from here on, the formula starts to repeat itself too much. "Forever And A Day" has a little bit less pace to it, but it really sounds a lot like the first few tracks on the album. The same goes with "Beneath The Sea's Bed". Of the new tracks that have been added for the re-issue, acoustic ballad "The Song For You" works the best, and has in short time climbed into my favorite acoustic tracks list. It's lyrics are so painstakingly sad, speaking of troubled love in such a sad tone, that it gives me chills time after time. It's followed by "All The Love We Hold Inside", one of the heaviest tracks on the record, but it fails to make the same impression on me as "The Sound Of A Breaking Heart" does.

Overall, "The Passage" was a damn solid album in 2005, and it still works in 2007 because nobody sounds like Boy Hits Car anymore. I guess you could say they are sort of half way between nu metal and emo, the middle-form that never managed to popularize itself like its predecessor and successor. This is an album perfect for those special moments with your girlfriend, because it is essentially an album full of love songs. It might be a turn off for some, but it's good at what it does, and if you're into the sort of melodic singing that occasionally dwells into the scratched territory, it's surely going to make you go wild like the undersigned. It may not be as good as their debut, and there aren't any songs as brilliant as "As I Watch The Sun Fuck The Ocean" or "I'm A Cloud" on it, but it's still a damn solid album. It's a shame it starts dragging a bit towards the end.

Download: Tonight, Escape The World, These Burning Memories
For the fans of: SCIENCE era Incubus, Finch, Finger Eleven
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.06.2007
Golf Records
Provided by Target ApS

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