Anything But Miserable
Loyal fans of Boysetsfire have divided, resulting in many heated forum discussions and angry blog entries. The controversy concerns whether the Delaware emocore bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s latest album, The Misery Index: Notes from the Plague Years, reveals a newly evolved sound, or if it is the antithesis of their previous recordings such as 2001’s After The Eulogy.Those claiming the latter are a minority for a reason. In The Misery Index, Boysetsfire cover their usual topics of love, religion, and most famously, politics, with a quieter, melodic quality. Yet, for being slightly toned down, lead singer/keyboardist Nathan Gray keeps his trademark angsty and pleading vocals that pair perfectly with the lyrics. Guitarists Chad Istvan and Josh Latshaw remain the edgy foundations for every song, and bassist Robert Ehrenbrand and drummer Matt Krupanski still move along pumped-up beats.
If already a fan, put aside all knowledge of Boysetsfire when listening to Misery Index; just because itâ€šÃ„Ã´s more acoustic doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t mean theyâ€šÃ„Ã´ve gone soft. The album alternates between styles, constantly entertaining and staying strong through the end. â€šÃ„Ãº(10) and Countingâ€šÃ„Ã¹ powerfully describes the struggles of life in a band, being â€šÃ„Ãºbroken down / down and out / out of gas / out of food / without a doubt.â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºDeja Coupâ€šÃ„Ã¹ starts off with clips of orators and politicians, turning into a surprisingly ska-like jam. Despite the majority of their recent songs being balladesque, â€šÃ„ÃºSo Long…And Thanks For the Crutches,â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºFinal CommuniquâˆšÂ©,â€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºA Far Cryâ€šÃ„Ã¹ channel the intense screaming of past albums.
Despite those doubters, fans are tremendously in favor of Boysetsfireâ€šÃ„Ã´s re-invention. True, Misery Index is a very different turn, but whoâ€šÃ„Ã´d wish for a band to constantly sound the same?