Thursday, May 30 2024

Newcastle’s Bosola return with ‘Comfort Disorder’, a song about an acrimonious break-up that is set to become a live favourite.  Those unfamiliar with this 4-piece should hunt down the last single, ‘Truth Man’ and ‘Me on a Good Day’, both of which showcase their late ’80s / early ’90s Manchester tinged sound. The band cite influences from U2, Radiohead, Big Star and Yuck, but influences are subjective and when everyone comes together the net result can be completely different. As is the case here.  

To my ears, Bosola bare more in common with early Charlatans and Roses than anything else. ‘Truth Man’ possesses the kind of loose groove and hypnotic bassline synonymous with the early Manchester sound; throw in elements of Russell Lissack on lead and a less acrobatic Tim Burgess vocally and you get a captivating mix of old and new jangly Indie-Rock. ‘Me On A Good Day’, evokes the spirit of ‘Sally Cinnamon’ with more Smiths’ sensibilities. Bittersweet, slightly maudlin, almost dreamy; very much set up to impress in a live environment.

With that very brief overview in mind, we come to ‘Comfort Disorder’, the production of which harkens back to late ’60s / early ’70s glam rock monsters. The separation between vocals and guitar is huge, greatly emphasised by the amount of reverb on Tim Cox’s vocals. The verses are slow, world weary and very much reflective of the subject matter. Things take a turn with the chorus section which, has a distinctly sedate Libertines air. There’s a real juxtaposition between some unexpected tom triplets and the fragmented guitars to underlay the vocal motif, “You can break your fast on these feelings past, never get back to her.” It’s tidy.  It’s engaging. It’s got an anthemic quality.

There’s good use of piano within the mix on the pre-verse, which gives a lovely fluid quality, at odds with the stop-start chorus preceding it. The second verse follows of similar path to the first, with good use of a pause, for dramatic effect, half way through. This adds emphasis where needed as narrative progression and shows good use of dynamic shifts. 

It’s during the mid-section that the song’s narrative is both lyrically and musically resolved. Yes, blissed cadence; the palette cleanser between courses! What acted as the pre-verse previously (clumsy, yet unavoidable alliteration) now acts as the bedrock to this transition. Piano and vocals unite as, “If I’m the right man in the wrong town, it’s the right time to be let down,” is refrained before, “I’ll be your comfort disorder”; the summation of the narrative is repeated. Again, this in a live setting, would doubtless feature a few hundred willing backing singers and sound unearthly.

That strikes me as the fundamental ethos of Bosola; they’re essentially a live band committing ideas that work beautifully well in that setting. The problem bands are often faced with is how they capture that energy on record? Notably, Oasis faced this problem with ‘Definitely Maybe’ and it was only when Owen Morris was drafted in that their live energy was able to be replicated. 

Bosola Band

I digress, but there is a point to this, ‘Comfort Disorder’ is essentially a ballad, or power balled – if there is such a thing in Indie-rock? It has the capabilities of being not only a live anthem, but a fully-realised monster of the airwaves. It’s probably just one mix, one tweak away from that. I love the lead break over the mid-section. Yes, it’s largely pentatonic, but some of the phrasing is fantastic and it maintains interest throughout without being over-indulgent. The real magic, for me however, comes after the solo. Billy Corgan / James Iha-esque volume swells underlay the reprised vocal, “I’ll be your comfort disorder.” It gives the song an orchestral quality and perfectly takes it to its natural conclusion. 

Bosola are a very promising band, showcased brilliantly well by their musically upbeat, yet often lyrically downbeat, loose jangly indie-pop-rock back catalogue. ‘Comfort Disorder’ is a fantastic addition to this catalogue and sits well with another mournful ballad, ‘Space & Time’ (worth a list as well!).

You can see Bosola live as they celebrate the launch of their new single on 5th April @ Newcastle, Head of Steam, supporting Holy Coves. And, April 28th Bosola and TNCS at Little Buildings, Newcastle upon Tyne.

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Review

Summary

Get ready for a lovelorn, sing-along, indie anthem! ‘Comfort Disorder’ is a fantastic addition to the Bosola catalogue.
85%
An instant live classic

Rating

Song Quality
Vocal Performance
Lyrics
Instrumentation
Production

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About Author

Gareth Johnston

Gareth Johnston is a Lancashire based musician and producer who studied music at MMU. He is a former reviewer for 'Glitzine' and when not writing for 'The Indie Grid' can be found restoring old furniture whilst listening to obscure alt-rock. He has too many favourite bands to pick one and insists it's easier to pick a favourite child.

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