Boys Night Out
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Boys Night Out


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The best kept secret in music


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Trainwreck - released July 2005 on Ferret Music
Make Yourself Sick - released September 2003 on Ferret Music


Feeling a bit camera shy


You can feel it from the opening notes of the first song; and it doesn’t matter if you’re intimately familiar with Boys Night Out or you’ve never heard the Burlington, Ontario, group’s music before now. From the second the band’s sophomore album, Trainwreck, opens, with its cascading instrumental overture and its eerie voiceover of a physician diagnosing his patient, you can sense the arrival of something big, powerful—and where this band is concerned, previously unexplored. Yes, Trainwreck is the album where these Boys (now one X chromosome stronger, thanks to new member Kara Dupuy on synth and vocals) officially grow up, the disc where their hopes, ambitions and darkest secrets collide to make the statement they’ve always had in them.

Touring nonstop in support of their Ferret Records debut, Make Yourself Sick, (2003); Boys Night Out got their first chance to re-evaluate where they were headed after their stint on the 2004 Warped Tour. Though they’d been toying around with ideas for new songs all summer, it was a story Davis had written—a typically dark yet surprisingly empathetic tale of love, murder, mental anguish and creative reawakening—that became the catalyst for the album they’d start writing. Davis and Lovat-Fraser broke down the story into 12 sections, which became Trainwreck’s 12 songs; and, over the better part of the next year, the music naturally took shape around the storyline. In April of 2005, BNO entered the studio with producer Machine (Lamb Of God, King Crimson, Clutch, Armor For Sleep), and to hear Davis tell it, the results surprised even the band.

“Once we started being a full-time band,” says Davis, “we started to see the saturation of the kind of music we were playing, and basically, we started getting very tired and bored and unhappy. We’re a group of people with very diverse tastes in music—metal, pop, punk, country, classic rock—and, being on tour every night with so many loud, aggressive bands who were just like us, it was just like, “Whoa—I don’t want to listen to this anymore.”

Adds Lovat-Fraser, “We’ve all been in punk bands for years and years, and a record like Make Yourself Sick, while it was fun as hell to write, was also easy as hell to write. With this record, we wanted to challenge ourselves to make something that had more substance, that incorporated more of the influences that we actually listen to, instead of the area we had been put into.”

Though it helps to know what Boys Night Out sounded like one album ago to fully wrap your head around the creative leap they’ve taken on Trainwreck, it’s best just to start with a clean slate and imagine this as the debut they’ve always wanted to make. The metallic, mathy, prog-rock dynamics of “Dreaming” set the album’s tone early on, their dark, descending guitar lines eerily complementing the physical and emotional collapse of the patient at the center of the album’s story. At the same time, longtime fans should feel right at home with songs like “Medicating,” which put the guitar harmonies, handclaps and sing-along choruses of classic BNO into a thrilling new context—before, of course, the darkness (“Purging”) and rich atmospheres (“Relapsing”) of the subsequent tracks pull them back into the lead character’s descent.

Ultimately, says producer Machine, “We made a relevant, 2005, rock record—and I do mean ‘record.’ This is a bona-fide album; all 12 songs are crucial. When I think back to other ‘album’ bands, take Pink Floyd, for example—they were influenced by what was going on around them at the time. Boys Night Out, they’re young kids; so they took their Warped Tour and emo and metal influences, some of the classic rock that’s influenced them, and in 2005, made a real, legit, relevant, today rock record. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s badass.”

Formed in 1998, disbanded after their first show, and rebuilt three years later from the core lineup of guitarist Jeff Davis and singer Connor Lovat-Fraser, Boys Night Out first carved out their territory in 2002 with their debut EP, Broken Bones And Bloody Kisses. Released on the U.S. hardcore label OneDaySavior, the disc showcased BNO’s flair for combining the melodic with the morbid (via Lovat-Fraser’s wry, sadistic lyrics), winning over fans with its singing-screaming balance well before “screamo” had become a music-industry buzzword. U.S. touring followed; and, by the time they were ready to record their Ferret Music debut, Make Yourself Sick, BNO had gotten their first taste of fame outside of their home country—but, as the old cliché goes, they hadn’t seen anything yet.

Though it was recorded on a shoestring budget, Make Yourself Sick was nonetheless a massive-sounding debut album. As typified by the single “I Got Punched In The Nose For Sticking My Face In Other People’s Business,” the disc was a progressive pop-punk romp, packed with handclaps, sing-along choruses and harmonized riffs. But, in typical BNO fashion, Make Yourself Sick’s polishe