Boys Night Out - Make Yourself Sick (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Boys Night Out

Make Yourself Sick (2003)


Sure, lots of bands sing about killing girls. How many of them make it their entire theme?

You would think that speaking of one's murderous revenge song after song would eventually get as stale as their victims' corpses, but somehow, the band keeps it fresh by using a subtle approach to the lyrics about it, often never really specifying how many inches deep the knife has gone through her back, or how deep the callous wounds from the noose on her neck are, using symbolical metaphors instead. I don't know if this is another in-joke too, but the only thing the band apparently got out of English class was alliteration - yes, it's a stupid point, but it's all over the place, and sometimes they seem like they're doing it just to do it.

An Asinine Alliteration Agenda:

  • "Traces of your life will turn up traceless with your death deprived of stasis. So sleep secure" / "three incisions; bullet blasted backs. I'm back" ["The Subtleties That Make Mass Murderers of Otherwise Decent Human Beings"]
  • "chronicle the chemicals, but don't forget the cigarettes" ["The Fine Art of Making It Out Alive"]
  • "you better bring your baseball bat or better, because broken bones and black eyes are a safe bet." ["(Just Once) Let's Do Something Different"]
  • "Caring came to the crime scene but bloodlust beat them back" ["The First Time it Shouldn't Taste Like Blood"]

While Boys Night Out have gone and flicked the pop switch on us from the Broken Bones and Bloody Kisses EP, there's something about it that seems blatant and varied from the typified sound; it doesn't circumstantiate Senses Fail or Finch comparisons. The band manages to narrowly avoid the ‘screamo' label yet again, just enough where the music is more along the lines of pop-punk with a slight hardcore influence. With "I Got Punched in the Nose for Sticking My Face in Other People's Business," the opening dual screaming and pick slide is immediately followed by the poppy vocals and basic chords; it's like a joke, but it works. In the song, the band actually pulls a role reversal, speaking from the victim's point-of-view, to the proprietor of the crime. They also have the "sing-along, clap-along" part of the song (think the end of "The Only Honest Lovesong"); "drag my corpse through the cities I never got to visit / promise don't let me miss it."

One irritating thing was in the slower track, "Hold On Tightly, Let Go Lightly." There is a severe pause between the bridge and the breakdown, making you think the track ended. But then, at 2:09, the song starts up again, exactly like it first begins, with only a slight difference, a wind-type instrument playing quietly in the background. I thought the media player was on repeat, but much akin to their consistently vengeful plots, the band deceived me! Bastards!

Although the album as a whole is slightly better than its predeceasing, er, preceding release, there are interesting things to compare and contrast. Little things like the hook before the chorus in "Where We Breathe" was never really fully replicated anywhere on the full-length. They still have several repetitious lines in the vein of actual hardcore here like the first disc, but the band apparently felt the need to increase the amount of writing in each song; sort of stretching out the beforehand plotting.

And while the entire mood of the EP was dark, plodding, and surreal, establishing a haunting mood where you felt like you're right at the murder scene, only a song or two here really sets up a similar setting. One such song here was the schizophrenic "Yeah, No...I Know." It begins with appropriately post-traumatic, vocal distortion, and sags along its assembly line with dragging chord-striking and pleading dual vocals, backing the beg of "someone call an ambulance..." Don't get me wrong, it's a good song, but the mood swing starts to sway three minutes in, when the emotion seems to uplift for a moment, until two more minutes later when the pleads return, finishing the song against a wall of off-key, purposely sloppy string-picking.

Much like the Rx Bandits did with The Resignation, the liner notes are a much different material from basic paper. Here it is a type of glossy paper, the clever idea back-dropping the bodies on ice photos.

Many are going to see this as a turn for the worse. Others are going to take it with a grain of salt and still be able to enjoy the music and lyrics. And still, the others will continue disliking Boys Night Out. Could they be your thing? Take a stab at it.

Stream the whole shebang

"I Got Punched in the Nose for Sticking My Face in Other People's Business (demo)"
"The Subtleties That Make Mass Murderers Out of Otherwise Decent Human Beings (demo)"