How do you follow up a concept album about a man losing his sanity and going on a killing rampage? Why, you write an album about drinking, suffering, and despair! At least that’s what Boys Night Out did with their third album on Ferret Records. The self-titled album follows up the band’s 2005 moderately successful concept album, Trainwreck, and it takes parts from that album and 2003’s Make Yourself Sick to piece together Boys Night Out. This album features the addition of guitarist Andy Lewis, the departure of Kara Dupuy, who played the synth and sang on Trainwreck, and the return of original drummer Ben Arseneau. What we find on these eleven Lou Giornado-produced tracks are intensity, catchiness, and repetition throughout.
The infectious “Get Your Head Straight” kicks off the record and immediately gets stuck in your head. With driving guitars and a lively bass line courtesy of Dave Costa, the song is a strong album opener. “Swift And Unforgiving” is equally catchy, as Arseneau drum skills shine on the track. But while both tracks are cool musically, they suffer lyrically, thanks to repetition of one-liners (the cliché “loose lips sinks ships” line doesn’t help “Swift” either). “Up With Me” is the first single and it’s a moody track that features anxious vocals from Connor Lovat-Fraser. “The Heirs Of Error” is bound to be a crowd favorite, with in-your-face verses and the gang vocals shouting “We will rebuild!,” it’ll be an instant live staple.
Group vocals are also present in “Let Me Be Your Swear Word” and “Hey, Thanks,” but “Fall For The Drinker” takes the cake. My favorite song on the track, it begins with dark undertones throughout the first verse as Lovat-Fraser wearily sings about raising your glass. The chorus of “We’re all here now/tonight to hell with everything else/we’ll drink hard/and we’ll drink to ourselves” is echoed out by the entire band and is just begging for my friends and I to drunkenly sing along. “Apartment” is one of the stronger, well-rounded tracks, while “Reason Ain’t Our Real Song” is a hard-hitting, fast-paced track that’ll definitely remind you of Make Yourself Sick.
Personally, I don’t think Boys Night Out will ever top Trainwreck, the creativity and the construction of the album are damn great, and it would be hard for many bands in the scene to follow up an album like that. Boys Night Out is a valiant follow-up, but there are still glaring flaws, such as the constant repetition of lines in the majority of songs. I’m also not a fan of Lou Giornado producing this record, although he didn’t botch this record like he did with Sherwood, I still think BNO would have been better suited with Machine again or even Brian McTernan. What they lack in lyrics and production though, they make up with good musicianship and songs that are equally intense and catchy. Is this album going to be as memorable as Trainwreck? Probably not, but that’s rather a testament toTrainwreck than a discredit to Boys Night Out. Regardless, it’s still fun as hell to blast this album in my car and shout along to while driving 80 on the highway.