EP review: Boston Manor – Desperate Times Desperate Pleasures

Blackpool heroes Boston Manor follow up GLUE with a short spiritual sequel – and it’s excellent.

EP review: Boston Manor – Desperate Times Desperate Pleasures
Emma Wilkes

The last time we heard from Boston Manor on last year's third record GLUE, we’d been under house arrest for over a month with no end to the gloom and boredom yet in sight. Though the timing was unfortunate for the band, its juddering, futuristic electronics, socially conscious angst and meaty riffs provided a cathartic release for fans that could power them through another day identical to the last.

Now on the other side of lockdown, and with their inspiration flowing freely again, the Blackpool quintet offer something of a short spiritual sequel to GLUE with this five-track EP. Although these new songs could seamlessly slot in between that record's Everything Is Ordinary and Plasticine Dreams, they’re certainly not recycling the formulas that made their last record shine so brightly. Instead, it feels like a natural, more polished sonic progression, where the band sound perhaps the most refined and assured that they have in their whole career. Lead single Carbon Mono melds the scuzzy with the slick with a well-balanced duel of guitar and synths, while Algorithm and I Don’t Like People (& They Don’t Like Me) cruise along on a cool groove an indie band would dream of emulating, yet with a dark sting in their tails.

However, the strongest moments on Desperate Times Desperate Pleasures exist at opposite ends of the musical spectrum the band covers. The thunderous stomp of Desperate Pleasures absolutely rips, hitting harder than possibly anything the band have ever put their name to up till now while still artfully incorporating subtler moments to add light and shade. Meanwhile, the sultry closing track Let The Right One In is a positively astronomical, not to mention gorgeous, ballad that remains uncompromising in spite of its slower pace.

With another fine of collection of songs under their belt, Boston Manor may have some trouble picking the setlist for their February tour when they’ve now got even more gems to pick from.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Trash Boat, Trophy Eyes, Holding Absence

Desperate Times Desperate Pleasures is out now via SharpTone

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