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Tomorrow Come Today

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Album Review

While an ear for melody had always tempered Boy Sets Fire's post-hardcore tumult, 2000's After the Eulogy moved even more consciously toward hooks with the mid-tempo rock of tracks like "When Rhetoric Dies." Since then, the Delaware-based quintet has left Chicago indie Victory for Wind-Up, the New York-based label that made its name with Creed. Tomorrow Come Today, their Wind-Up debut, doesn't dilute the band's often caustic political discourse; musically, however, the band has fully embraced the melodicism that After the Eulogy hinted at. As a logical progression, this is understood and accepted. But the album suffers from big-league production homogeny. Produced by ex-Ugly Kid Joe guitarist Dave Fortman (who also manned the boards for the young Wind-Up groups 12 Stones and Evanescence) and mixed by Jay Baumgardner (Godsmack, Orgy), Tomorrow Come Today is a meticulously detailed sound recording. Josh Latshaw and Chad Istvan's guitars are impenetrable or elegiac, depending on the mood, but the rhythm section of Rob Avery (bass) and Matt Krupanski (drums) gets the short end of the stick. Ultra-compressed guitars and touches of programming and piano — not to mention the significant emphasis on Nathan Gray's vocals — unfortunately make tracks like "Bathory's Sainthood," "High Wire Escape Artist," and the hidden bonus ballad "With Every Intention" sound too similar to the glut of aggressive metal also-rans that have clogged the market since the popular explosion of the genre.

Gray's voice — with its whisper-to-a-scream range — has always conveyed much of the emotion in BSF's progressive, often acerbic hardcore sound. So it's a credit to BSF that they didn't let Wind-Up or their producers completely attenuate these elements. Tomorrow Come Today begins with Gray's bellowed mantra of, "Protest is patriotism," a notion echoed in the incendiary political treatise printed on the record's inlay card. "Eviction Article" explodes then, the song's martial rhythms driven forward by Gray's vitriolic lyrics: "The constitution burns to ash in front of you/The people will know what you're up to/Your sins will come back on you." "Dying on Principle" and "Handful of Redemption" might be the best songs on the album, encapsulating perfectly the band's rage, rhetoric, and conscious movement toward melody. With Tomorrow Come Today, Boy Sets Fire has definitely taken aim at the mainstream. But while they may have made a few instrumental sacrifices, their agenda is being broadcast loud and clear.

Biography

Formed: 1994 in Newark, DE

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Progressive hardcore band BoySetsFire was formed in Delaware in 1994 by singer Nathan Gray, guitarists Josh Latshaw and Chad Istvan, bassist Darrell Hyde, and drummer Matt Krupanski. Self-releasing their debut single, "Consider," in 1995, Boy Sets Fire soon resurfaced with a split release with Jazz Man's Needle, winning acclaim not only for the intensity of their live dates but also the intensity of their political convictions. The band's debut full-length, The Day the Sun Went Out, followed in 1997...
Full Bio
Tomorrow Come Today, Boysetsfire
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Apr 01, 2003

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