Boysetsfire’s new self titled album is massive, the sound is massive and sometimes it can feel like an onslaught of sound from every angle, but the melodic chorus’ scattered throughout never really feel like a pay off from the constant build up the band seem to make throughout.
Boysetsfire is honestly, at the core, a really good mixture of anthemic rock melodies and post-hardcore riffs. Each track holds its own identity and theme, even if the differences can quite easily be lost from track to track. Oftentimes it feels like a massive nostalgia trip to the turn of the millennium rock music from the likes of Thrice, Thousand Foot Krutch and… Well… Boysetsfire. Yet immediately the hype can be built up even further to something with a bit more hardcore feeling, and certainly more head bang worthy. Take the transition from the more melodic and methodical ‘Torches to Paradise’ into the heavy hitting and more hardcore punk feeling from ‘Coward’. This distinct difference can create something ultimately unique and interesting, but sadly it just sounds rather disjointed after a while, while you get your head around flip flopping between genres.
To be brutally honest with you, the heavier and harder hitting tracks are ultimately the better identity that this bi-polar album has. The tracks are fantastically constructed, and just feel a bit less dated and fresher than the melodic nostalgia fuel the rest of the album includes. This is not to say the melodic side is ultimately bad, it’s just not quite on the same par, and that’s what holds Boysetsfire from becoming the album it really should be.
The melodic tracks just aren’t the sing along classics you would hope they could be next to the head bang fuel the band’s also producing. The likes of ‘Dig Your Grave’, the aforementioned ‘Coward’ and ‘Don’t Panic’ are just too fleeting and don’t give the album enough substance and seem to just act as a distraction from the less addictive rock portions. Boysetsfire have had a fantastic history, and if this new self-titled album has anything to prove it’s that they still have the ability to make some kick-ass tunes, but trying to mix their two brains into one would probably have been the best option, something they did in fact hint at in ‘Breath In, Bleed Out’.