The Violent Impulses of Boys Night Out

The Violent Impulses of <b>Boys Night Out</b>
"I've read some stuff talking about ‘Oh, it's just another album about killing girls. It's getting old.' You should read the lyrics. It's never just about killing girls," says Jeff Davis, one-fifth of Burlington's punk rock prodigal sons, Boys Night Out. While the band have come to specialise in writing catchy metal-tinged tunes about murdering people, Davis is clear: "It's more of a metaphorical or symbolic thing than literally talking about killing a girl."

There is certainly no denying, however, the murderous lyrical undertones found in BNO's body of work. "We thought, ‘Every band playing hardcore, melodic, sad punk rock is just singing about relationships and stuff like that. We can do that, but let's do something different,'" Davis explains. Though much of their earlier material dealt more literally with starkly violent ideas and imagery, Davis sees their newer work as a shift away from a concept that has become a main signifier for the band. "Lyrically, the full-length is focused more on all kinds of abuse. Be it self-abuse, drug abuse, alcoholism. There is killing people. And violence."

That full-length, the stellar Make Yourself Sick, still features songs like "The Subtleties That Make Mass Murderers Out Of Otherwise Decent Human Beings." The band's lyrically poetic (and Clockwork Orange-esque) subject matter has certainly left them open to misinterpretation and criticism. "We were going to be playing a show in Chicago, and we started getting these e-mails: do not come here. There was going to be a protest by a women's group. We emailed them back, explained the lyrics, and eventually it cooled off and there was no protest."

Serial killers. Biting the curb. Car crashes. "There are so many bands that just have bubblegum crap lyrics, and it's so offensive. Please, if you're in a punk rock band, have something to say. Sing about something worthwhile. For the love of God, don't waste my time."