Been to any UK pop punk or emo gigs in the last few months? Then you’ll have probably heard of Boston Manor, or seen someone wearing one of their t-shirts. Since releasing their debut EP two and a half years ago, the Blackpool lads have definitely made an impact, landing support slots with Citizen and Moose Blood amongst others. And new EP Saudade seems set to rise the quintet’s star further and further.
Although it’s only four songs, the main thing Saudade radiates is potential. And it’s not just in straight up pop punk either, although Gone and the ironically optimistic sounding Asleep At The Wheel prove they can write absolute pop punk bangers. Despite vocalist Henry Cox gravitating over to the standard overexaggerated pop punk voice for a portion of Saudade, he brings something different to the table elsewhere, with his smoother, less abrasive style. And Boston Manor remain in limbo between how much they use pop punk characteristics, which is more unprecedented than not in a scene where bands throw in tempo changes too often for the sake of sounding more ‘pop punk’. There are tempo changes featured here, but you get the sense that they serve a purpose to the music. And then there’s the fact that the standout track, closer Shade, is a full on rock song, with no enunciating to be heard.
Because of the strength of Shade and the edgy Trapped Nerve, Saudade‘s other two tracks get slightly lost as they seem more generic than other sounds on offer. Gone is enjoyable to listen to but its hook is buried under guitars, while both tracks launch into fast tempos which grates a bit.
These are small concerns though, as there’s genuinely not a bad track on this EP. Balancing out pop punk influenced and emo influenced songs has only shown part of the skillset Boston Manor possess, and this is undoubtedly the start of very big things.
For fans of: Citizen, Transit, ROAM
Words by Georgia Jackson
‘Saudade’ by Boston Manor is released on 20th November on Pure Noise Records.