Review Summary: Amazing debut album. Flawed in some respects but the sheer talent of this young technical grindcore outfit is astonishing. Like a good Psyopus!
Imagine if a band as shockingly talented as say, Psyopus, managed to also have the ability to write songs rather than just play the most ridiculous music to grace human ears. Well, the UK have come up with an answer; The Boy Will Drown are 4-piece
technical grindcore/mathcore band hailing from Norwich. Their music is most comparable to bands such as The End (mostly their debut album), The Dillinger Escape Plan and the infamous tech-grind wizards Psyopus. But what makes The Boy Will Drown any different to those aforementioned groups? Well for one, even though Psyopus are pretty good, their
songwriting ability is lacking. On the other side of the coin, The Boy Will Drown may still be maturing with their ability to not just play amazing material but write memorable riffs and such but they do write some cracking tunes. Opening song Deep Throat is a full frontal assault of beastly rhythm section battery and impressive guitar wankery. The start stop feel and rapid tempo changes, trademark to the genre, are constant so it is almost impossible to keep time through headbanging. Instrumentally, The Boy Will Drown are about as tech as it gets. Imagine a Beneath the Massacre with a bit less brutal death metal influence (and in all honesty, probably less triggered in respect to the drums). The bass is fantastic; great tone, remarkably well written phrases and very competent technique. The guitarist (yes there is only one) bombards the listener with thrashy, hardcore and grindy riffs interspersed with those complete WTF moments of guitar spazzery that Psyopus and Dillinger are so famous for. Deep Throat features quite an epic middle section; very simple but very effective, proving the band are willing to perhaps step out of their comfort zone every once in a while.
But what about the vocals? If the instruments are so ***ing good I hear you say, what about the vocals? Well, in all honesty, the vocals are decent at best. He uses a mid range shout, similar to Guy from The Red Chord and occassionally ventures into lower/higher range territory but it is a rarity. Lyrics range from the strange to the disgustingly hilarious
(Dead Girls for example, killer track). Pig squeals feature every now and again, which will indefinitely piss off elitist metalheads and as for another supposedly atrocious segment of common songs these days (breakdowns), there are certainly a fair number on this CD. It will probably take a few spins until you can differentiate between songs, as many of the technical parts do sounds quite alike. But they don't really rehash riffs - more that their genre restricts them a little. Tracks like Irminsul and Barrymore's Pool Party are packed with equal parts groove and tech - the combination is totally phrenomenal at times. Some of these sections could be comparable to a band such as Starring Janet Leigh, just with a different take on the vocals.
In terms of consistency, the band have it sussed. Every track on the album is listenable yet every track has its flaws as well. The two instrumental snippets on the tastefully named tracks (Josef Fritzl and Elizabeth Fritzl respectively) are quite strange and dream like - it appears as if it is just mindless, weird noodling but perhaps not. Plus it sounds like a tape player or old battered radio. But in conclusion, this is a contender for best debut album of the year. If you love technical music, you'll adore this. If you think Psyopus suck and want to give a similar band who have more structure a try, then get this. But you have been warned; it is an
Barrymore's Pool Party