Welcome To The Neighbourhood is the latest release from Blackpool pop-punkers Boston Manor, with the album seeing the band treading down a slightly different avenue than usual. Whilst the band have traditionally been known for their pop-punk/modern rock sound, this record sees them diverging slightly off the beaten path, into territories largely unknown.
By Jane Howkins
We’re pleased to say that this new direction seems to have paid off. The band’s style hasn’t changed too much but it does sound more mature, with darker themes present throughout. They’ve spoken about the album recently, stating that themes of poverty and drug abuse are rife within the lyrics of these songs, showing a remarkably different outlook compared to previous releases.
It’s not just the lyrics that show maturity though, with several tracks sounding more well rounded than some of their earlier work has done. One example is the final song of the album, called The Day I Ruined Your Life. Whilst the title may sound immature at first, the track itself isn’t, with strings and a beautiful acoustic guitar riff pulling the track along through an enchanting chord progression. It’s actually the stand out track of the album for us, and the change in sound and outlook reminds us somewhat of the magnificent change in sound Brand New went through after the release of their third album (although we don’t want to jinx things by saying that!)
There is a little bit of filler here, and the middle part of the album in particular seems to head that way, but it’s still a fairly good record, and one that Boston Manor should be proud of. It’s different enough to set them apart from their peers but still has enough similar elements that older fans shouldn’t feel too alienated. We’re actually really looking forward to seeing where they might head next – welcome to the neighbourhood boys!