Boys Night Out
Green Day who? If Boys Night Out's Trainwreck
is any indication, the new colors of punk-rock opera are black, blue, and -- above all -- blood-red. Whereas the Canadian quintet's deliberately emocore debut, Make Yourself Sick
, dealt with slicing up girlfriends and disposing of their parts about the house, the Boys' follow-up narrates the aftermath of a husband accidentally suffocating his wife. A guilt-stricken doctor, the newly convicted mental patient, and the relentless songs in the patient's head alternately advance the plot from hospitals to halfway houses, while guitars spin out of control like an ambulance on wet pavement. The dead wife even makes appearances courtesy of new backing vocalist/synth player Kara Dupuy, whose ghostly wail methodically crawls up all vertebrae as the most grisly case details are uncovered.
Even darker -- yes, it's possible -- and less sarcastically poppy than its predecessor, Trainwreck is active listening at its finest. Let's just be sure to keep Roger Daltrey and Elton John away from the imminent film version, shall we?