Review: Boy Sets Fire

Boy Sets Fire
“Before the Eulogy”
(Equal Vision)

As the cover states, this is a collection of ‘Re-issues. Odds and Ends. Rarities’. Along with the expected progression in levels of recording (from expectedly rough 4-tracks) through the first studio adventures, some EP’s and songs from compilations, this is an audio diary of Boy Sets Fire. Known for being one of the first screamo bands (mixing the hardcore scratchy end of punk with the melodies of emo and indie rock), the band has been releasing music since 1995 through notable labels such as Victory Records, Initial Records and Equal Vision. What makes this release worthy, aside from the collection of otherwise hard to find material for the fans, is the notes that come inside the jacket for each song. Snippets of info from the band about the song, the recording and their state of being when the numbers were conceived. You also learn the band had to pull out a tape measure to figure out how big a 7” vinyl is. While the later songs are obviously the most mature and bombastic, the early songs show a yelping, howling band trying to work together a few genres, that at the time, weren’t co-existing as commonly as they do now.