I’m not a big fan of EPs. Usually they can be more trouble than they are worth. However, Suckerpunch Training from BoySetsFire is definitely a worthwhile listen. One song is heavy, and very hardcore influenced. Another is an Elton John cover. Then the final one is one of the greatest political works from a musical band ever. Before delving into any of BoySetsFire’s material I knew that they were a political band, but didn’t realize how smartly they were when it came to using politics in their lyrics.
All three songs on Sucker Punch Training are each extremely different from the other. The title-track, “Suckerpunch Training” opens the EP up heavily with screaming, and hard guitar riffing with some nice, steady percussion. The clean singing and distorted bass playing is awesome when they intertwine together. This first, four-minute song flows smoothly, creates a lasting impression, and shows the moshing side of BoySetsFire. “Rocket Man” is an Elton John cover, which takes a step back in terms of heaviness, but certainly not in quality. The vocal job is superb with only clean vocals that are somewhat reminiscent of Keith Caputo from Life of Agony’s older days. It’s impressive that they managed to turn “Rocket Man” into basically their own song. “Untitled” isn’t so much a song as it is a political speech. The only instrumentation is a drumbeat along with some other odd sounds. The lyrics are highly impressive and intelligent. One part later in it is what I think is one of the more interesting lines. “Democracy in, and of itself is a good thing. Of course we’re not against pure democracy. Take this band for example: an issue comes up, we discuss it, and then we vote on it, and it usually works for the best. So, in that example it works, but, and stay with me on this. If an oil company lobbyist wanted us to sing about how awesome all-terrain vehicles are, and took Chad, and Josh out for dinner, and bought them new guitars, and promised Rob a significant donation to help him in his reelection campaign, then democracy is no longer pure, and becomes corrupt and we end up compromising ourselves and singing a new version of vehicle, “Wheels turn crush me I drive a hummer””. The three-and-a-half-minute protest song hooked me in, and made me think about some things, which is a positive thing.
Usually EP’s are at least fifteen-minutes, but Suckerpunch Training is only eleven-minutes long. It’s not nescesarily detracting from the record, but it would have been nice to have maybe a fourth track on it. Which brings me to the next point. While “Untitled” is entertaining, it’s not exactly a song, but is only a political rant; sure is a smart one though. It would’ve been nice to see perhaps one more original song on the record too. Suckerpunch Training works perfectly as an EP. I think that when a band releases an extended play their goal should be to show that they are capable songwriters, and prove that they are diverse. Despite a couple minor issues, Suckerpunch Training is a great EP from BoySetsFire. With this I’ve been convinced to buy more of their material.