Boyfromthecrowd – ‘Surrender To The Exercise’

By Mark McConville

It’s gratifying when a band comes along and doesn’t surrender to the norm or the mainstream model. It’s also great when an act shreds the rule book and plays with diverse undertones and majestic energy. Boyfromthecrowd are a band in the ascendancy, an outfit cutting frames from different, conceptual ideas, and putting them into fruition. Their ethos as a collective is truly entrenched in punk rock, but blues also makes the grade. These genres edge together to create a sound that is joyous and distinctive, and reassures us that honest creativity is still very much alive.

‘Surrender To The Exercise’ is a blast of punk venom at times, but there’s soothing, subtle tones nestled beneath the potency and velocity of full-bloodied guitar lines. This varied input breaks the shackles of normality, separating the band from the pack. Throughout the album there are influences drawn from bands such as The Cure. These influences are pivotal, and direct us as listeners to the forefront of the music. Melody is important too and is implemented brilliantly on ‘Surrender To The Exercise’. It’s not an afterthought, it’s bright and wisdom fuelled, covering every piece of this musical journey. Not only does it add stability, but it enhances and intensifies the whole record.

Singer/guitarist Vinny Piana bellows about love and how it can be tarnished easily. He’s on a mission to tell tales, stories of heartbreak and debilitating darkness. The lyrics are fundamentally poignant, and if they could scream, they’d crack the atmosphere. Piana is the prime songwriter, a man blessed like a battling wordsmith, trying to make sense of the world. The intelligent wordplay is dazzling; not just a quick addition, but well worked and intricately placed. His guitar playing is smooth and well executed, organising sounds into sweet bundles.

Every track on ‘Surrender To The Exercise’ deserves attention. ‘All I Need’ is a punk rock triumph, bound in poetry and precise guitar work, alongside Piana’s heavy, formidable and gritty voice. ‘Love In Vein’ is a sombre heart-puller, a fable which progresses and showcases Piana’s writing credentials. It also showcases the band’s talent for executing wonderful instrumentals, offering a supreme backdrop to emotive words. ‘Tonight’ describes love and its importance, the drumbeats and engaging vocals intertwining beautifully as we learn of a perfect lover who disbands and leaves the hub of joy. ‘Where The Bees Come To Die’ is a definitive, masterminded swansong. The guitar trickery is sublime and conquers all, leaving a mark and showing the relevance of this band. Boyfromthecrowd have dazzled on this record of truth. It is an album of revelation and importance.


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