Album Review: Boy Jumps Ship – Lovers & Fighters EP

By on Wednesday, 4th June 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

It’s always inspiring to hear about an indie band you know getting that all-important early record deal. In the case of Newcastle’s Boy Jumps Ship, earlier this year they signed to indie European label Rude Records, who also represents heavy hitters Cancer Bats, The Gaslight Anthem and former touring mates We Are the Ocean, all bands we’ve written about here on TGTF.

If you’ve been keeping up with TGTF’s coverage of the Geordie band, I caught them playing a blistering set at Mello Mello on the Friday of Liverpool Sound City 2014 last month and was totally overwhelmed by them. It was at that time (or rather after their set when I nabbed them for an unplanned but fab interview in the basement of the venue) I heard about their new EP (their third one but first with Rude) just released this week, ‘Lovers & Fighters’. Five songs, 17 minutes and all heart in a hard as nails wrapper. What more could you want?

Considering its release on the cheeky first Monday of June, the album begins, rather appropriately I feel, with ‘Made You Proud’. When rock bands release albums before the summer festival season, it makes sense that at least one of the songs included on a release has incredible festival riot-inciting power. With its way too fun to repeat and raucous lyrics of, “tell all, all your friends / we’re not, we’re not scared / we’ll sleep, we’ll sleep when / when we’re, when we’re dead”, it’s a tune that’s just plain smart, while the song is about survival and living an honourable life so that “I count my lucky stars for me that you’re around / so when I rest these bones, I’ll make you proud”.

Hmm. Where is all that awful debauchery and cursing that hard rock stars are supposed to be famous for, the criminal activity that usually sends me running? It’s…not…here! While you could argue that the title of EP midpoint ‘Start a Riot (Sick of Trying)’ might possibly be a bad influence, the song itself is about feeling lost and alone, frustrated to the point of wanting to riot. But somehow I don’t get that these guys would actually start a riot. And forget the riot theme for a moment: pay attention to its got kick arse chord changes and riffs all over the place that had my head bopping in multiple directions while I was working on this review. ROWR.

Standout track ‘Call to Arms’ begins with singer/guitarist Si Todd’s words, “It’s scaring me to death, I’ll still sing it when I’m dead / call to arms and you’re not answering”, indicating some initial apprehension. But this is quickly followed by drummer Gav Gates’ unrelenting drum beats to usher in the song and any such anxiety is gone as the rest of the band join in on the perfect start to a rock song: all the players coming together in unforgettable instrumental harmony. Words from the bridge “time keeps moving on, pretty soon we’ll all be gone / And we’re not answering to anyone” are unapologetic, cementing the underlying message of this EP: we’re going to do it our way, and are you with us? For further, see EP closer ‘We’re Not Giving Up’ if there was any question about this. And there should be none by the time these Geordies are through with you.

Full of heart and played by lads with plenty of fire in their bellies, this EP never really lets up in determination or volume, which is what you want in a tight set of songs from a young rock band on the cusp of greatness. Even if hard rock is not your favourite, I would bet anyone who can appreciate an extremely well-written song with unforgettable melody and guitar hooks, whether you’re a head-banger or not, will enjoy this EP. Boy Jumps Ship, you’ve done good. Now go forth and keep rocking the hell out. We’ll be waiting with bated breath for your debut album straight from the Toon.

8.5/10

Boy Jumps Ship’s latest EP ‘Lovers & Fighters’ is out now on Rude Records. The band will make a special live appearance at HMV Newcastle on Northumberland Street this Saturday, the 7th of June, at 3 PM.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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