While a lot of songs are catchy and open to a larger audience, there are acouple songs that many older fans of Boysetsﬁre who prefer their heaviermaterial will enjoy. “Final Communiqué” is a short, two-minute song thatnever loses its pace. A rolling bass line and leering drum bit open the song before full on screaming roars on in. With lines such as, “You’ll never see uscoming, striking from the shadows. Headﬁrst, ﬁst raised to the sky. Pull thetrigger released in anger. We’ll bite off the ﬁngers that feed us your ****,” itsplainly obvious Boysetsﬁre is staying by their political side. Then there is “SoLong…And Thanks For The Crutches”. In a way the title could be a way of saying to the politicians in power, “Pack up your ****, you’ve doped us uplong enough”. That’s how I like to think of it at least. Anyway, the song startsoff in a weird way that wouldn’t suggest it’d be the mosher it really is. Itstarts out very jazzy with an upright bass and what seems to be a synthe-sized piano. After twenty-seconds though what is heard next is easily thehardest part of the whole album. The whole song is rather heavy and re-mains so during the chorus where the synthesized piano makes a secondappearance. Not surprisingly, the lyrics to the song are meant to be motivat-ing and encouraging. “Just enough freedom to forget you’re a slave, justenough anger to make sure we get paid” could refer to what Green Day’ssong, “American Idiot”, did in talking about the media numbing the masses.“Empire” is one song that everyone should hear. It wouldn’t be surprising atall if this turned into a single, it certainly is catchy enough. Boysetsﬁre takesa perspective of the people running the affairs of the world. “I speak, youthrow parades. Ignore the sense of rage welling inside. Pay no mind to whatwe do cause we’ll sell it all to you in modern luxuries. And we’ve made quitesure you believe you’re free.” It really hits home with this part. “Just believe, believe you’re free, cause you’re on your own. It doesn’t matter just be surethat this is our empire this is war. Forgotten heroes, chessboard roles to makeyou think you’re something more, but you’re on your own…”What is going to be talked about next is one of my personal favorites, “Fal-ling Out Theme”. It’s not particularly a standout, but they way it is sung andthe lyrics seem attractive to me. At ﬁrst it seems to be much like, “So Long…And Thanks For The Crutches” and “Final Communiqué”, but that is not thecase at all. It does start out heavy with some nice, fast paced riffs, but soongoes into almost inaudible crooning (the booklet calls it random bitching,haha) accompanied by a cello. It takes a while to get to the actual song, butit’s well worth the wait. Josh’s singing is absolutely impeccable and when hesings, “Love and weapons kill much the same way. With shaking hands westart again”, a feeling of raw energy encompasses me. The rolling drums aremost noticeable during this part as well, and the jumping guitar riffs too. Toadd a little variety to this already superb album, there is a nice little balladtitled, “(10) And Counting”. It’s very soft and includes the use of an acousticguitar at the start. The lyrics seem to call back to the days possibly of whenthey were facing tough times. The song also seems to say in a way that eventhough some may hate the band they will be the ones standing when every-thing falls apart. It’s a lot more emotional than some songs, but it doesn’t feelout of place at all.What Boysetsﬁre have created is nothing short of spectacular. They’ve takenolder elements of (post) hardcore music, twisted it into something meaning-ful, and made it widely appealing to a broad audience. Politically standing,Boysetsﬁre hasn’t lost their edge that they started out with from the begin-ning. The music may be a bit softer compared to early demos and EP’s, butthey still manage to assault the senses every once in a while. Even thoughsome songs may stand out among some others, this album really must belistened to completely in order to fully grasp how great this album is. Itwouldn’t be a surprise at all for bands ﬁve to ten years from now to cite thisexact record as a major inﬂuence in their life. It sure has inﬂuenced mine.
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Boysetsﬁre - Equal Vision-Feb. 2006
Tracklisting:1. Walk Astray2. Requiem3. Final Communiqué4. The Misery Index5. (10) And Counting6. Falling Out Theme7. Empire8. So Long...And Thanks For The Crutches9. With Cold Eyes10. Deja Coup11. Social Register Fanclub12. Nostaligic For Guillotines13. A Far CryIt’s rather ironic that of all bands, Boysetsﬁre isn’t very well known. Lately ithas become popular of many bands to take a political stance and because of it they gain in popularity (a la Green Day). But while many of those bandshave been together for a while and only recently started protesting the gov-ernment Boysetsﬁre have been since they started out. They did have a chancehowever to be propelled to great heights when they had been signed to amajor label, but it ﬂopped and when they were writing for this new recordthey were dropped. Thankfully, they were picked up by Equal Vision andthen ﬁnished up their latest record, “The Misery Index: notes from theplaque years”. What is on here is emotionally and politically charged musicthat is very post-hardcore inﬂuenced, but also easy to get into.“Walk Away” eloquently opens up the almost hour-long album. A loneacoustic guitar and the voice of singer Josh open things up. He croons abouthow he doesn’t, “want to sing about freedom anymore, I want to see it, Iwant to feel. I want to know that it still sits behind the lies we’ve been told, beyond the wars that keep our families from home”. Obviously this album ispolitical, but it’s done in a very intelligent way and doesn’t ever try to sayanything ridiculous. After a little over a minute of the soft acoustics every-thing speeds up into the older, hardcore side of Boysetsﬁre. The politicalelement of the song continues though. “Our dreams are their worst night-mares, these songs a call to arms. We can dance on the graves that held us,we can change the course of time”. This is what is so great about Boysetsﬁre;they manage to be both inspirational and rebellious, but never get snot-nosedabout it. The catchiness of the song is also a big factor too. While, for themost part, it is heavy, there are also some parts sung which gives the song a bit more of a reﬁned taste to it. Which is how a lot of the record is.“Requiem” (a requiem is a funeral hymn, or chant) is the lead single off of “The Misery Index: notes from the plaque years” and it really is rather ﬁtting, but not just because it’s one of the more catchier tunes from the album. Asthe chorus suggests, this is Boysetsﬁre saying that they are not dead andgone, but are here to stay and not leaving without a ﬁght. “This is not ourrequiem, we’re wasting time as victims. Why spend our lives on bendedknee, choosing not to be free?” This is one song that should be downloaded,or heard by those unfamiliar with Boysetsﬁre and not particularly intostraight up (post) hardcore. It’s a song that works greatly as both a represen-tation of the record and a song that should gain the band a larger following.
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