BOSTON MANOR give us two new tastes of their forthcoming album “GLUE” which sees its release May 1 via Pure Noise Records. First up is “Ratking” and refers to a phenomenon that occurs when several rats’ tails become intertwined and they get stuck. This causes them to struggle harder which only makes the knot tighter; eventually they’re unable to move and they die.
Boston Manor relate that phenomenon to humankind with this track. As frontman Henry Cox explains:
“‘Ratking’ is about our inability to empathize with each other and work together as a collective. Even those who consider themselves tolerant should look at their inbuilt biases. I think our inability to show compassion to people who think differently to us is what is holding us back. We’ve seen this so much over the last few years. Just because someone voted differently to you, it does not automatically make them a bad person or invalidate their feelings. Even if someone is a hateful person, don’t deny that person the opportunity to change. We need to help each other to grow rather than trying to cancel, shout down, ridicule or attack each other”.
Next up is “On A High Ledge”. Cox has a lot to say on issues of mental health, ‘man up’ culture, the prevalence of male suicide in today’s society and a lot more besides. “On A High Ledge” was written in dedication to a man who’s suicide he witnessed as a child. He reveals:
“When I was seven years old I saw a man commit suicide by jumping off the bus station in Blackpool a few feet in front of me. Growing up, I always rejected the idea of what a ‘boy’ should do; I never liked football, I thought fighting was stupid and at age six I spray painted my bike pink. I’ve always hated the term ‘man up’. I think it is such a damaging thing to say to little boys. A big problem that we have to tackle is men’s inability to seek help; it’s this ‘man up culture’ that is baked into young men from a young age that makes them think – it’s wrong to cry, it’s wrong to share your feelings and being vulnerable is weak. The biggest killer of young men today is suicide. Obviously, mental health support in the UK and most of the world is not what it should be, and mental health issues affect everyone, not just men”.
“I hope, as a society, we can teach little boys being born now that being sad is okay. Strangely, the day after we wrote this song, one of the guys in the band was driving home and saw a man on a bridge over the motorway about to jump. He quickly pulled off the road and managed to talk to the guy until an ambulance came. A strange coincidence, but I really hope that man is doing better now”.
“GLUE” is a bold, outspoken and uncompromising record, one which Cox hopes will be a call to arms for everybody who listens to it – to make them realize they need to take notice of what’s happening both around them and on a larger, more global scale. Inevitably, in a critical examination of modern constructs, it comes from a dark place but one that fueled Boston Manor to create a body of work that elevates their craft further than ever before. During what singer Henry Cox describes as a “very chaotic” process, came the 13 highly charged songs that make up this record.
Like its predecessor, “Welcome To The Neighbourhood”, “GLUE” was recorded at The Barber Shop studios in New Jersey, but with a very different approach to that record. Produced by Mike Sapone and engineered by Brett Romnes, Cox admits that these are not just the most primal and plain-speaking songs the band have ever recorded, but everything the previous seven years have been leading up to.
“This is the start of our band finally becoming the band that we want to be” he says. “It’s taken us so long to get here, but I’m really proud of us for becoming our own thing. Not once did we think about what people wanted to hear – we just went entirely down the rabbit hole with it. Our only rule was to do what we wanted to do. And I’m really happy that we did that”.