Boston Manor – ‘Be Nothing’

By Ben Tipple

‘Be Nothing’, the debut full-length release by Boston Manor, builds upon their sheer dedication to the DIY scene, having in recent years graduated from the toilet circuit to high-profile support slots and festivals. Their rise is representative of both their strong work ethic and their notable song-writing, which more than comes into its own on the record. Taking the time to pen a coherent record, and with full support by their new Pure Noise Records home, ‘Be Nothing’ offers Boston Manor room to breathe.

This is never more evident than on ‘Broken Glass’, the sombre midpoint to the record. Vocalist Henry Cox recently told The Independent it was the song he always hoped to write, ultimately showcasing Boston Manor’s enticing blend of UK pop-punk and a profound maturity. It’s mirrored in theme across the record, not least ‘Forget Me Not’; a heart-breaking tale of dementia.

Although this downbeat atmosphere dominates ‘Be Nothing’, the record doesn’t suffer from a slow pace. At just over half an hour, it glides from the upbeat to the macabre, never steering too far into pop territory. The ten tracks nod towards their pop-punk heritage rather than emulating it. Although not reinventing the wheel, as Cox himself notes, the record instead allows Boston Manor to discover their own niche, as Hindsights did before them.

Closing the record, ‘Fossa’ suggests an air of experimentalism and a willingness to break routine. Throughout ‘Be Nothing’ teeters precariously on the border between confined brilliance and innovation. Wherever Boston Manor decide to head, ‘Be Nothing’ is easily one of the standout debut releases of the year.


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