For the past five years, Delaware all-ages rockers Boy Sets Fire have been making a name for themselves with their signature blend of searing melodic hardcore and leftist political fury. Now, with successful stints on the indie-labels Victory and Initial under their belts, they take the major-label plunge with confidence on their third album.
On the opening " Eviction Article, " frontman Nathan Gray expresses his outrage at the widespread corruption in American politics, rejecting melody in favor of aggression as the band get violent. The drug-war tirade " Dying on Principle " is similarly feral, and " Release the Dogs " is uncompromising in its questioning of the massive wave of jingoism that followed September 11. Gray isnít afraid to get personal, either: the self-empowerment anthems " Last Yearís Nest " and " Handful of Redemption " have hearts as big as their hooks. The catchiest juxtaposition of music and message on the disc is " Full Color Guilt, " a vicious swipe at the culture of supermodel anorexia with a sleek pop-metal chorus. The melodic hardcore sound they pioneered is all the rage right now, and Boy Sets Fire remain leaders of the pack.
(Boy Sets Fire perform this Sunday, April 6, at the Palladium in Worcester; call 508-797-9696.)