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Boys Night Out

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Album Review

Rather uniquely for a band of its generation and shared set of influences, the increasingly derogatory stylistic tags of emo and screamo really do feel like unjustified misnomers when applied to a group with as much effortless and — most notably — uncluttered songwriting instincts as Ontario's Boys Night Out. Their eponymous third album may not reinvent any wheel or apparatus of this Earth, but its songs do evince a power pop simplicity and sensibility that's sorely lacking within their normally self-obsessed and pretentiously indulgent peers. In fact, pristine singles such as "Get Your Head Straight" and "The Push and Pull" share a timeless historical bond that can be traced back to everyone from Big Star to Redd Kross to numerous discreet '80s new wave-isms — whether you think they're anywhere near as classic or not. It's all a matter of philosophy, really, and, if so inclined, one could focus entirely on the bad habits Boys Night Out don't succumb to in their work (instrumental masturbation, hysterical yelping, whiny love lyrics, long-winded jokey song titles, etc.). Even the worrisomely named "Let Me Be Your Swear Word" proves to be an earnest and even clever essay on alcoholism, and the similarly themed "Fall for the Drinker" unexpectedly evokes Thom Yorke and Radiohead with its dreamy, deliberate gait, before building up into a singalong of "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" proportions (reprised for the album's coda by the mostly acoustic "It Won't Be Long"). And even though there certainly are a few tracks ("Swift and Unforgiving," "Hey, Thanks," and "Apartment") distinctly lacking for a little more oomph in their execution, the album's overall balance is overwhelmingly positive at the end of the day. One hopes that Boys Night Out's well-wrought, understated talents will sound like a revelation to their usually overstimulated young fan base, rather than an overdose of sleeping pills.


Formed: 1998 in Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Ontario-based pop-punk/emo/lotsa yelling combo Boys Night Out included vocalist Connor Lovat-Fraser, guitarists Jeff Davis and Rob Pasalic, bassist Dave Costa, and drummer Ben Arseneau. They debuted in 2002 with Broken Bones and Bloody Kisses (Ferret Music) and immediately began a furious touring regimen that would continue nearly unabated until the end of eternity. (Fellow travelers included types like Brand New and Coheed & Cambria.) BNO returned to wax in April 2004 with the slicker and more melodic...
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Boys Night Out, Boys Night Out
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