Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Eulogy: BoySetsFire

October 1, 2006

Eulogy: BoySetsFire

Earlier this month, it was announced that BoySetsFire, one of the bands that played a big role in shaping melodic-hardcore, broke up. After twelve years BoySetsFire never let up in their intense passion for music. They struggled deeply for a few of those years, just trying to survive as a band. They made several demos and EPs in a short while, including the EP Suckerpunch Training. This one EP could very well be the greatest extended play ever. It only contained three songs and was fairly short, but those three songs were so different from each other it is hard to not recognize them for their greatness. However, BoySetsFire still wasn’t making the impact they wanted.
Luck seemed to have found them when they debuted in 1997 with their first LP The Day The Sun Went Out. This put BoySetsFire on the map in the post-hardcore world and is now a classic political album. That was the thing that made them unique besides their music: every single song served a purpose. They all had meaning and most of the time the meaning served a political view or wanting to change something that was (and still is) wrong with the way the world is run.
They continued to produce epic music with After The Eulogy, which is widely regarded as the band’s premier record. So it seemed that BoySetsFire were poised to take the world on. They were about to have a major release on Wind-Up that held high hopes for the band, but Tomorrow Comes Today flopped. The severe debt got so bad for the band that they when they asked to be released from Wind-Up it was with no strings attached. For people on the outside looking in, it seemed like there was nothing for BoySetsFire to do but end their journey and leave a mark. After all, they had releases like The Day The Sun Went Out and After The Eulogy to look at as markers of true glory, so why not end things where they were?
However, that is not what BoySetsFire did. With a slightly tweaked lineup, BoySetsFire went through much hardship and came out with one final album, an album that may just be the band’s greatest yet. The Misery Index: notes from the plague years came out February 2006. It neared a whole hour long and continued the ways of the band by challenging the system and certain figures. But it was also was tinted with sadness, sadness that is easily understood.
They never gave a **** about what others thought of them. They never cared who or what it was; if it was wrong, they’d stand up against it. They were BoySetsFire, one of the best bands to grace Earth. They are gone now and no longer will they make music, but their essence will live on and people will still learn of them, grow to love them, be sad they aren’t together anymore, but know that the impact they had was profound and respect and love them for that.

-Ian Raguse

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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