ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: Boston Manor
Boston Manor Photo – Niall Lea, Words – Jess Campbell
You might have heard of Blackpool’s punk-powerhouse Boston Manor off the back of the success of their debut album, 2016’s Be Nothing, but a lot has changed sonically for the 5-piece in that time. From sold-out shows up and down the country to a stonking performance slot on the main stage at this year’s Download Festival, Boston Manor have been through a lot in this time and have their own experiences at the heart of their music – self-directing their recent video ‘Bad Machine‘. With so much going on (heightened with this creative control), and with a tonne more experience under their belts the change is natural and marks a hefty personal progression. However, this progression is not something that should be looked at naively, and by all means, do not let it put you off as something “cookie-cutter” from the punk-factory. Welcome To The Neighbourhood is brooding in a way the predecessor wasn’t, and it seems a heck more personal.
It is evident that the young band are maturing into their sound, yet still leaving room for further growth as the LP seems to reflect Boston Manor at this moment in time (well, at least the two years between the releases). With ups and downs throughout the body of work, pushing through the album is a sense of bleak honesty and – lyrically – reflecting the theme in order to take us around a fictionalised version of place they all know; their “neighbourhood”, Blackpool.
With the new album coming out in just a week’s time (pre-order here), we asked frontman Henry Cox to put together Boston Manor’s Ultimate playlist that reflects the new LP. Like Welcome To The Neighbourhood, featuring classics from Tool to more unexpected additions from The Weeknd, the playlist reflects the band in a way you won’t have seen before. Check it out below!
Deftones – Digital Bath
We’ve grown up loving this band. I think White Pony is probably their best record & this is my favourite track. They manage to have this heaviness about them whilst still having groove & rhythm. Also, they’re the masters of dynamics; that quiet to loud structure is done so well on this album without sounding jarring or forced.
Nine Inch Nails – Terrible Lie
Probably the band that influenced the record the most. You could name any number of songs, but there’s something unique about that first record. Made in the late 80’s it still has this vibe of being a synth-pop album (I think it’s in the drum sounds), but evil & fucked up. It’s so heavy but so catchy.
The Neighbourhood – R.I.P 2 My Youth
Hip Hop was my first love & I tried to incorporate more of an R&B style to some of my singing on this album. But The Neighbourhood are a perfect example of how a band can play Hip Hop. Love the drums & reverb-y guitars on this track, it was a big influence on the title track of the record.
Tears For Fears – Shout
Next in the playlist of dark 80’s synth-pop is this banger. Dunno why but we listened to this non-stop when we were in the studio. I wish more of their tracks sounded like this but sadly it’s a one-off.
Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People
Love some of the guitar tones & percussion on all of his records. Him being a big Nine Inch Nails fan we referenced a lot of his tones on the record. Also he makes choruses sound so big with no harmonies, just by layering his voice. That’s something I’ll be experimenting with more on future albums.
The Weeknd – The Hills
Another example of really moody hip-hop that can be super intense but pretty. We’ve been calling the scream before the chorus “the kettle”. Such a creative way to drop into something.
Failure – Stuck On You
I love this band, one of the real unsung heroes of the 90’s. This whole album’s incredible & I urge anyone who hasn’t heard of them to check them out. I love the overdrive on the lead on this song that kicks it off.
Radiohead – True Love Waits
This was the inspiration for the song “The Day That I Ruined Your Life”. I had these really sad lyrics written & I wanted to capture the desperation that’s on that song. We really liked the cyclic nature of its structure, but it didn’t really work for ours. So instead we decided to build it gradually, adding instruments as the song goes on. We knew it was going to be the album closer, so it worked well.
Bloc Party – The Prayer
How to boil a song down to what is essential. We tried to do this throughout the writing process & this is just a masterclass in that.
Tool – Vicarious
An expedition into the weird and wonderful. Our producer was a Tool fan, as well as some of the bizarre pedals that we referenced from Tool we used them as a measuring stick, is it weird enough? Is it too weird….
‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’ UK Tour (w/ support from Microwave, Drug Church & Wallflower)
Fri 21 Sep UK Bristol Thekla
Sat 22 Sep UK London Electric Ballroom
Sun 23 Sep UK Birmingham Mama Roux’s
Mon 24 Sep UK Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Wed 26 Sep UK Liverpool Hangar 34
Thu 27 Sep UK Glasgow SWG3
Fri 28 Sep UK Leeds Key Club
Sat 29 Sep UK Manchester Gorilla