By: Peter Gaston
Most bands never broach the topic of writing a concept album, and those who do often wait until the latter stages of their career, when already enamored fans might be satiated enough with a band’s canon to stomach a record like Kilroy Was Here. Ontario outfit Boys Night Out are probably way too young to know anything about Styx’s colossal, band-destroying debacle — the one to which the ’70s rockers should have said, “No thanks, Mr. Roboto” — but that’s good news for rock fans. While Boys Night Out’s sophomore set, Trainwreck, maintains one singular storyline, the musical accompaniment varies shifts quite deftly from the scratchiest of tonsil shredding screams to delicate, slick rock balladry.
But the unconventional path is nothing new for Boys Night Out, a band that already broke up once — after their first gig in 1998. And while very cheeky (and sometimes screamy) pop punk comprised much of Boys Night Out’s core curriculum at first, Trainwreck clearly struts defiantly away from those conventional early recordings. Opening track “Introducing” sets the conceptual tone, with a faux doctor describing the particular depression, dementia, and catatonia plaguing one particular patient who’s murdered his wife; Connor Lovat-Fraser voices the patient’s first words on the record, talking about how his hospital ID bracelet is all that proves his existence.
Even as the somewhat morbid tale unfolds, BNO manages to weave in some supremely catchy hooks, ones that work best when tied onto bright bursts of lead guitar on “Sentencing” and occasional synth pulses from newest member (and sausage fest crasher) Kara Dupuy on “Waking.” Even better, fans of emo forefathers Sunny Day Real Estate will certainly lap up the shifting energies and tom-heavy rhythms of “Medicating.” But the record’s most polarizing moment — and ultimately its most captivating — comes on “Relapsing,” an unabashedly sappy ballad that leans on vocal interplay between Dupuy and Lovat-Fraser. It’s a Warped Tour-ready version of Fleetwood Mac.
Boys Night Out will be selling the drama this fall on the Nintendo Fusion Tour, a 43-date jaunt that features Warped Tour comrades Fall Out Boy, The Starting Line, Motion City Soundtrack, and Panic at the Disco; they also have two East Coast in-stores on the schedule. Trainwreck is out now on Ferret.
Boys Night Out In-Store Performances:
9/12, Fords, NJ (Vintage Vinyl) 9/19, West Babylon, NY (Looney Tunes)
Boys Night Out on the Nintendo Fusion Tour:
9/28, Detroit, MI (State Theater)9/29, Columbus, OH (PromoWest Pavilion)9/30, Chicago, IL (Aragon Ballroom)10/1, Cleveland, OH (Tower City Amphitheatre)10/2, Toronto, ONT (Docks Concert Hall)10/4, Montreal, QUE (Metropolis)10/5, Rochester, NY (ESL Sports Center)10/6, Washington, DC (9:30 Club)10/7, Albany, NY (Washington Avenue Armory)10/8, Lowell, MA (Tsongas Arena)10/9-10, Philadelphia, PA (Electric Factory)10/11, New York, NY (Roseland Ballroom)10/13, Pittsburgh, PA (A.J. Palumbo Center)10/14, Norfolk, VA (The Norva)10/15, Myrtle Beach, SC (House of Blues)10/16, Atlanta, GA (Tabernacle)10/18, Orlando, FL (Hard Rock Live)10/19, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Revolution)10/20, St. Petersburg, FL (Jannus Landing)10/22, Dallas, TX (NOKIA Live at Grand Prairie)10/23, Austin, TX (Stubbs)10/24, San Antonio, TX (Graham Central Station)10/26, Tempe, AZ (Marquee Theater)10/27, Los Angeles, CA (Wiltern Theater)10/28, San Diego, CA (Soma)10/29, Tucson, AZ (Rialto Theatre)10/31, Irvine, CA (Bren Events Center)11/1, Las Vegas, NV (House of Blues)11/3, San Francisco, CA (Warfield Theater)11/5, Boise, ID (The Big Easy Concert House)11/6, Seattle, WA (The Premier)11/8, Salt Lake City, UT (Promontory Hall)11/9, Denver, CO (The Fillmore)11/10, Kansas City, MO (Uptown Theater)11/11, Omaha, NE (Sokol Underground)11/12, St. Paul, MN (The Myth)11/13, St. Louis, MO (The Pageant)11/15, Des Moines, IA (Val Air Ballroom)11/16, Milwaukee, WI (Eagles Ballroom)11/17, Grand Rapids, MI (Orbit Room)11/18, Indianapolis, IN (Egyptian Room)11/20, Cincinnati, OH (Bogart’s)