This ‘Boysetsfire’ article was written by Thomas Lawson, a GIGsoup contributor
‘Boysetsfire’ Delaware’s finest post-hardcore five piece get confused on album number six. The self-titled album feels like a bit of a rollercoaster ride when listened to in its entirety. With significantly contrasting musical styles throughout, it comes across somewhat disjointed, almost portraying two different albums crafted together.
All being said its one of Boysetsfire’s finest albums to date. ‘Savage blood’ starts of this journey and does exactly what it says, the track is pure savage in nature delivering a sonic blow to the senses. The fast paced savagery continues into the next two tracks ‘Cutting room floor’ and ‘Don’t panic’. These three tracks are classic ‘Boysetsfire’ with driving rhythms, heavy guitar riffs, and big anthemic choruses. Unfortunately the rollercoaster takes a plunge when arriving at track number four, ‘Ordinary lives’ which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Nickelback album. After nearly 21 years on the circuit it may be expected that age would start to take its toll, and this is definitely the case here. The track sounds safe with none of the elements that we have come to expect from ‘Boysetsfire’. Although the track is a departure from their roots, it is still a great song, written following a tried and tested formula, and showing a different side of the band and their skilled musicianship. Front man Nathan Gray is on form both vocally and lyrically, delivering a David Gilmour style performance.
The album continues to simmer, as it moves into ‘One match’. The pace here picks up slightly, but it lacks some of the stylistic elements that we know the band are capable of musically. The track demonstrates the bands versatility, and their ability to write a catchy mainstream sounding song, but not a Boysetsfire sounding song. The lyrics suggest that after 20 years Boysetsfire still have the desire to carry on, and make good music.
Continuing to sound confused ‘Boysetsfire’ drop “The filth is rising” from the name you can tell that this track is probably going to be a kick in the face and take you back 15 years to the “After the eulogy” days and you wouldn’t be mistaken in thinking that, this track is one for the Monday morning commute to work as it will arm you for the day to follow. From the what can only be described as “dirty” first chord the imaginary circle pits open up. This is the Boysetsfire we know and love. This aggression sadly doesn’t last long as the drums begin on “torches to paradise” the track could take many directions, this time Boysetsfire decide to take the safe but anthemic route, this track is another departure from the Boysetsfire roots and leaves you wondering who am I listening to? All being said a departure doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing although the track is different it is good. It delivers all the elements of a great song and boasts a powerful and memorable chorus. The final six tracks of the album are classic Boysetsfire we are presented with everything we could desire. With aggressive sounding song names such as “Coward” dig your grave” and “Bled dry” we are in for a rawkus sonic treat. From the moment “coward” graces the ears through to the final scream of “bled dry” Boysetsfire are back sounding as if they have never left. The distortion is increased, the blood curdling screams arrive, everything gets heavy and I find myself nodding along in approval. Even though Boysetsfire’s 2015 contribution suffers from a rocky start it is redeemed with kudos to spare in its climactic ending. It can be said that for a band with over two decades of touring and studio sessions under their belt that they have honoured themselves and kept humble to their roots (well nearly) and delivered a great sounding collection of songs that any Boysetsfire fan would be happy to have in their collection.
‘Boysetsfire’ is out on the 24th September 2015, via End Hits Records