• Sammie Starr

Album Review: Boston Manor - 'Datura'

Boston Manor defies their own lyrical, instrumental, and atmospheric soundscapes with ambitious and vulnerable new full-length release, Datura.



Many bands often try to push their limits and boundaries. Bands like Boston Manor elevated their musical status sonically and thematically with their 2018 release, Welcome To The Neighbourhood, while 2020's GLUE would powerfully redefine what we would come to know about their sound. Both albums would shift the gears of their soundscape lyrically and instrumentally for their EP Desperate Pleasures, taking their atmospheric fortitude to new and untested heights.


"The energy continues with a splash of heavy energy with the neon-lit, shadowy track, "Floodlights On The Square." Keeping in strides with Boston Manor's unfiltered catharsis within their lyricism that collides so effortlessly with its malefic, noir instrumentalism, "Floodlights On The Square" stands out as a significant highlight on Datura."

Datura, Boston Manor's new full-length album, brings all these elements a step further to an engaging cinematic and thematic experience that dramatically splits itself into two sections dusk and dawn.

Beginning with a foreboding experience, "Datura(Dusk)," tenebrous and chilling, it's a brilliant atmospheric title track to start to record.

The energy continues with a splash of heavy energy with the neon-lit, shadowy track, "Floodlights On The Square." Keeping in strides with Boston Manor's unfiltered catharsis within their lyricism that collides so effortlessly with its malefic, noir instrumentalism, "Floodlights On The Square" stands out as a significant highlight on Datura.

"Foxglove," Datura's infectiously catchy single, is a change of pace while remaining thematically consistent. Aggressive and melodic, "Foxglove' still retains its dark energy lyrically as it moves onto to piercing and unshackled moment, "Passenger." Untapped percussive intensity, as well as impressive multi-faceted vocals, take center stage at this point.

"Crocus" continues to deliver on the record's intentions and energies before we come to the gorgeous cyber-punk instrumental, "Shelter From The Rain." While not your traditional Boston Manor experience, the band is proving that they are always ever-expanding their soundscapes to create something new, expansive, and auditorially stimulating.

Datura ends with a six-minute finale, "Inertia." An inventive track that combines the best of the band with a bonus future-dystopian instrumental, cinematic guise of birdsong, and the break of dawn that follows soon after, Boston Manor closes their narrative with ambitious poise.

Beyond the beautifully dynamic and atmospheric universe they have created, there is a vulnerable story about control and pulling yourself up through a difficult time. Boston Manor have built a bold and confident record that tells a story of how one deals with these intense struggles. How in time, no matter how dark of a place you are in, there is always a way out.



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