Release Date: 29/10/2021
Record Label: SharpTone Records
For Fans Of: Trash Boat, Neck Deep, Seaway
As we fast approach the season of giving it seems only right that Boston Manor drop a surprise EP for us all. However, the festivities end there with Desperate Times Desperate Pleasures as the five-track release was born amidst a dark, turbulent time. For their first venture with SharpTone records they offer their trademark catharsis, pop-sensibilities, hope of a much craved resumption of normality for the band, and a brighter future than the five-piece once feared.
‘Desperate Pleasures’ sees the pop-punk outfit deliver an effort that is haunting and impressive in equal measure, with a sharp tongue unburdening a visceral feeling that has long-festered. The chorus echoes, the vocals boom, and the emotion is raw. Similarly, ‘I Don’t Like People (& They Don’t Like Me)’ sings of being “a criminal drifting through the liminal” and adopts a perspective of introspection and a barrage of unhinged, unhelpful thoughts.
The EP opens with the anthemic ‘Carbon Mono’, crying out “Desperate times call for desperate measures” with an acidic, bitter taste in its mouth. Instrumentally the track thrashes and writhes, as the vocals fleet between howls of pain and moments of melodic melancholy. The edgy ‘Algorithm’ paints a picture of not being accepted and struggling with society’s desire for conformity, simmering away with frustration and desperation.
In amongst a musical landscape painted with almost entirely a dark palette, ‘Let The Right One In’ offers a softer touch to Desperate Times Desperate Pleasures, but in a Boston Manor-esque fashion. “I’d kill for you” and “I’d die for you” might not resonate as the most romantic professions of love, but they are an eerie and striking statement of dedication and commitment if nothing else.
While Boston Manor are part of the pop-punk scene, they were born and operate in the shadows of it. There are pop-undertones underpinning the record in a Depeche Mode manner, but the EP sees the band trawl through the dirt and mire to deliver something that strays far from the stereotypical pizza ordering, baseball cap wearing, red cup drinking image that the rest of the scene feels the need to be. Desperate Times Desperate Pleasures is a reminder, if it was even needed, that Boston Manor are fucking ace at what they do.
Recommended Track: ‘Let The Right One In’