Under The Gun Review could not be more excited unveil an exclusive track-by-track rundown of Boardroom Heroes’ new album, Another Year. The album is currently streaming on AltPress and will be available everywhere starting June 5 (tomorrow). For more details on the album’s release and where you can find a copy to call your own, click here.
This was the very last song I wrote for the record, only a couple of days before we went into the studio. It’s a song about regret and learning to live with mistakes or paths not taken. The lyrics and the song as a whole came pretty quick for this one. It ended up being one of my favorite songs on the record.
Also written towards the end of the writing process, this song makes me feel a little pretentious. I still like it a whole lot though. I thought it would be fun to kind of heavy-handedly mess with the setting of a song in terms of space and time. So I talked about some of my favorite books (Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy  and Kerouac’s On the Road ) as a way to discuss fiction and memory and how hero worship in our society, instead of pushing us to be better, can sometimes make us feel small and worthless. There’s nothing wrong with just being average sometimes too.
I had been toying with the opening riff to this song for a long time before I was able to fit it in the intro here. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best song on the record and its emotional and thematic core. It’s a song about growing up, moving, and remembering. Elephants are supposed to have really great memories, a trivial fact that always stood out to me.
4. City Song
This song came about on the heels of the Occupy movement, particularly the Zuccotti Park iteration on Wall St. Like many observers, I was really impressed and inspired by everyone who assembled across the country in defiance of a grossly unbalanced system that is failing our generation. I was also struck by the overwhelmingly urban nature of the protests, a fact to which the title of the song pays tribute.
5. Empty Men
This is definitely the most overtly political song of all. It also, again, touches upon lots of the same issues Occupy raised and that are covered in the previous song. Shallowness in our media culture and politics (one and the same perhaps?) has certainly been tackled by punk bands before but it struck me in our moment how relevant those topics seemed, now more than ever. Also, I know Augusto had a good time on the intro drums.
6. Not Hesitating
This song was an exceedingly obvious genre experiment for us. I had wanted to try to write a ska-influenced song, with the upstroke guitars and walking bassline, for a long time but I always figured it didn’t really fit with the kind of music my brother and I played. But while writing this record I decided to do away with the taboos and just write a song I would want to play and hear. I think it worked out as this is another one of my favorites on the record.
7. Believe Me
A song about teenage apathy disguised as something of a love ballad. Again, the upstroke guitars and the bass on the verses were part of my deliberate genre-bending during the song writing process. The bridge part came about from messing and jamming with Augusto. I happened upon a cool little riff and we extrapolated from there. I think that bridge is his favorite part on the record.
By far the oldest song on the record, we’ve have this one down and in the bag for at least a couple of years now. We had actually even recorded it before but, maybe because I just love the soaring chorus so much, we felt strongly about redoing it. This time though we added a little outro to lead into Tomorrow Came Early that I also happen to think is one of the coolest moments on the album.
9. Tomorrow Came Early
After ‘Elephant’ I am inclined to pick this song as my favorite on the whole album. It’s a song about (once again…) remembering and being remembered. I’d been thinking a lot while writing this record about my place (our places) in life right now and usually the more you think about stuff like that the more you realize how meaningless you are. Good songs usually come out of feeling powerless or powerful.
10. Noise Heard Backwards
A song about relationships and how connections with people, friends, partners, etc., evolve over time. The original intro had been much longer, a rising fade-in not unlike Anti-Flag’s Underground Network. The decision was made to trim some of that fat, however, and I think the song is faster, punchier, and better off overall for it. Another personal favorite.
11. The Navigator
Like ‘Elephant’, this song crystallizes what I think is the essence of this album. It’s a song about moving on and away, finding yourself and your direction, and, for lack of a better word, navigating life from one’s teenage years into young adulthood. All kind of cheesy and perhaps over sentimental thematic territory but it all certainly speaks to the kind of feelings I was grappling with while writing the songs for this record.
12. Another Year
This song functions as both an apology of sorts and a love letter to my teenage years. It’s about bands I’ve been in and the experiences that that has afforded me. It’s an apology to close friends for how certain things turned out but also an affirmation of who I am as a result of what I went through. Needless to say, I don’t think any of this applies to me alone. We all change, hopefully for the better, as a result of the things we endure and that’s what I tried to get across in this song. I also just wanted a straight up, balls out punk rock song. Like with ‘Believe Me’, the melancholic outro came about in a jam session with Augusto. I played something randomly and we both loved it and instantly knew we wanted to incorporate it somehow. I think it fittingly closes out what I think is a pretty bittersweet record.
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