The Boxer Rebellion – Promises album review

The Boxer Rebellion have released only four albums across the span of their twelve year career but Promises, the most recent release by the London-based alternative rock band, is by far their most accessible release. With a new found expansive, arena rock  sound that is reminiscent of U2 or Coldplay, the Boxer Rebellion show remarkable restraint when it is called for and yet manage to reach the crescendoing peaks they aspire to several times throughout the album. “Diamonds”, the album opening track is a glossy, well polished and depressing pop tune that is indisputably one of the standouts for the album. Following tracks have difficulty reaching the same level of pop catchiness as “Diamonds” but show distinct strength and the majority are at the very least, listenable.

For fans of vast ethereal rock like Jonsi, Sigur Ros, or the first six tracks of Promises, the album takes a distinctly jarring turn on the seventh track and arguably the standout track on the album, “New York”. Pounding tribal drums assault listeners over a delicately understated keyboard part, swelling to a huge climactic finish that serves as the bridge to the back half of the album. Undeniably different from tracks one through six, the second half of Promises holds tracks that could deceive more than a nary listener that the two sides were in fact different bands.

“Safe House” is a blast of concentrated rock, clashing cymbals, bombastic guitars and wailing singer and all. When the four members fall into sync in an amplified bliss that carries listeners along a wild ride and it is extremely evident that the band paid great attention to even the most minute detail on Promises. Where the album especially excels is in it’s role as a studio album that tries its damnedest to capture the feel of a live show, fireworks exploding above the stage and the arena echoing with the last chorus. Comparisons to U2 are inevitable considering the ample prowess that the band demonstrates at controlling an explosion of sound and emotion. “Dreams”, the second to last track on the album carries a feel that can only be described as epic. Through the combination of the polished English rhythm section of bassist Adam Harrison and drummer Piers Hewitt, an indisputably atmospheric feel is created that seems to carry the reverberating guitar of Australian Todd Howe and the yearning voice of Tennessee native and lead singer Nathan Nicholson across some vast, imperceptible gap to comfort listeners.

As a whole the album is strong and although it may take a few listens, it is absolutely worth the experience. The Boxer Rebellion have created yet another album with great commercial and artistic merit. Don’t be surprised if the currently independent band is soon a name you become familiar with.

The Boxer Rebellion To Release New Album, “The Cold Still,” On February 8, 2011

THE BOXER REBELLION TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM, THE COLD STILL, ON FEBRUARY 8, 2011

ETHAN JOHNS-PRODUCED LP TO BE RELEASED ON THE BOXER REBELLION’S ABSENTEE RECORDINGS

Following their most successful year to date, London-based alt-rock quartet The Boxer Rebellion are set to release their third studio album on February 8, 2011. Created in conjunction with legendary producer Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne), The Cold Still is an exercise in master class performances and dark, sophisticated songwriting from a band that embodies the very definition of “independent.”

The album’s release marks the next stage of an incredible musical journey for Tennessee-native Nathan Nicholson, Australian Todd Howe, and Englishmen Adam Harrison and Piers Hewitt. Recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK, The Cold Still is the follow-up to the band’s widely acclaimed album Union, which caught the world’s attention as the first self-released LP in history to break into the Billboard Top 100 Album Charts on digital sales alone. Union also charted Top 5 on the iTunes Album Charts in both the US and UK. By the end of 2009, iTunes US named Union their “Alternative Album of the Year.” Whether it be their chart successes, their unprecedented on-camera appearance in the recently released Drew Barrymore/Justin Long film “Going The Distance,” or their recent 20-date packed-out US tour, The Boxer Rebellion continue to push boundaries with unwavering perseverance.

Their new LP, The Cold Still, is certain to captivate an army of music fans around the world. Epic and intimate in equal measure, it is a breathtaking album, bristling with tense passion, gargantuan riffs, and heartrending lyrics, all with an effortless grace that has become The Boxer Rebellion’s trademark. As a whole, The Cold Still embodies the band’s alluring approach to songwriting as well as their relentless live spirit.

On working with Ethan Johns, guitarist Todd Howe comments: “Ethan had been our dream producer for years, so when we were asked to make a list of people to produce the third album, my list consisted of one name. We didn’t want anyone else and, luckily for us, he was in from the first demo. We were looking for a more natural and evolved sound and we knew Ethan would get it right.”

Singer Nathan Nicholson adds: “Working with Ethan was a magical experience. We essentially produced Union ourselves, so handing over the reins to someone whose work we respect so much was a really big move for us. Ethan started by setting us up in a circle facing each other – we had never played facing each other, ever. We recorded to tape and it was basically just press play and go. He really brought a new way of working to our creative process and it’s helped us make what we feel is our best record yet.”

The Cold Still, an album being released on the band’s own Absentee Recordings label, is the next spellbinding chapter in the life of a band who have rewritten the rules from the start – for The Boxer Rebellion, what’s past is prologue…

The Cold Still tracklisting:
01. No Harm
02. Step Out Of The Car
03. Locked In The Basement
04. Cause For Alarm
05. Caught By The Light
06. Organ Song
07. Memo
08. Both Sides Are Even
09. The Runner
10. Doubt

THE BOXER REBELLION’S “UNION” NAMED 2009’s “BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM” BY ITUNES US UK INDIE-ROCK PHENOM TO PERFORM AT 2010 SXSW MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

THE BOXER REBELLION’S “UNION” NAMED 2009’s “BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM” BY ITUNES US UK INDIE-ROCK PHENOM TO PERFORM AT 2010 SXSW MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

TBRLondon, England-based independent rock band The Boxer Rebellion is pleased to announce that their second album, “Union,” was just named “Best Alternative Album” by iTunes US in their year-end “Rewind 2009” roundup of the year’s top albums, tracks, films and more. Announced this morning, the top-honor selection from the #1 music retailer in the United States caps off a stellar year for the international four-piece. Selections for this year’s iTunes “Rewind 2009” can be found here: http://www.itunes.com/rewind2009

In addition to their iTunes success, the band will be heading to Austin, TX, in 2010 to perform as part of the annual SXSW Music and Arts Festival. These upcoming dates will be rare Stateside opportunities to witness the band’s visually-stunning and potent live show, a showcase that has continued to win them a feverishly devoted following throughout the UK and Europe. Dates for the band’s upcoming performances at SXSW 2010 to be announced shortly.

Regarded by The Times as “the word-of-mouth indie phenomenon of 2009,” the self-produced, self-released “Union” was a colossal blast to the world of music upon its release on January 13th 2009. The band went on to make numerous headlines that very same week by becoming the first unsigned band in history to break the Billboard Top 100 Albums Chart on a digital-only release. Fueled by an unprecedented iTunes “Global Single of the Week” on lead track “Evacuate” (clocking up a staggering 560,000 free downloads), “Union” also broke the iTunes Album Chart Top 5 on both sides of the Atlantic 48 hours after release. At times the album was outselling the likes of Kings of Leon, The Killers, and Coldplay, and also knocked the almighty My Morning Jacket off the iTunes US Alternative Chart top-spot to take pole position.

Since the album’s release, the band went on a few unbelievably successful tours of Europe and was even invited to record a Live session at London’s flagship Apple store, a feat no other unsigned band has been able to achieve. Additionally, the band recently announced a groundbreaking partnership with HMV in the UK where the music and entertainment specialist is currently acting as a lead outlet and strategic partner for the physical release of “Union.”

The Boxer Rebellion is comprised of American vocalist Nathan Nicholson (hailing from Maryville, TN), Aussie guitarist Todd Howe, and a supremely talented rhythm section in Englishmen Adam Harrison (bass) and Piers Hewitt (drums). In “Union,” The Boxer Rebellion have produced a follow-up of epic proportions that somehow manages to surpass the vertiginous ambitions of its predecessor, the band’s critically acclaimed debut album “Exits.”

Q Magazine, in their four-star review, praised “Union,” calling it “Arena-sized rock music redolent of ‘The Bends’-era Radiohead and full of shimmering grace,” while NPR described the band’s sound as “a kind of chiaroscuro of airy, sweet, often falsetto vocal melodies winging precariously over a darker, more aggressive musical atmosphere.” The Boxer Rebellion’s albums are completely non-disposable bodies of work – perfectly balanced in exemplary songwriting, epic performances, and wide-ranging creativity that reward the listener time and time again.

UNSIGNED BRITISH BAND THE BOXER REBELLION BREAK ITUNES US AND UK TOP TEN ALBUM CHARTS IN 24 HOURS

UNSIGNED BRITISH BAND THE BOXER REBELLION BREAK ITUNES US AND UK TOP TEN ALBUM CHARTS IN 24 HOURS!

No. 6 – iTunes US Albums Chart
No. 2 – iTunes US Alternative Chart

No. 10 – iTunes UK Albums Chart
No. 3 – iTunes UK Alternative Chart

Unsigned London-based band, The Boxer Rebellion, are today celebrating an amazing achievement as 100% completely independent artists. Four years since the birth of their magnificent debut album, EXITS, The Boxer Rebellion digitally released their self-produced sophomore record, UNION, through iTunes on Tuesday January 13th. 24-hours later the band and their fans have officially entered the iTunes US and UK Top 10 Albums Charts. They are also enjoying the No. 2 position in the iTunes US Alternative Chart (behind My Morning Jacket) and No. 3 in the iTunes UK Alternative Chart (behind Kings of Leon and MGMT). The Boxer Rebellion are expected to announce the release of a suped-up fan-friendly set of physical albums later in the year as well as a North American tour.

UNION is produced by The Boxer Rebellion – mixed by Chris Sheldon, and mastered by Kevin Metcalfe.

THE PAST:
Formed in London through a chance meeting between Tennessee native Nathan Nicholson (vox/guitar) and Australian Todd Howe (guitar), the line-up was made complete with college friends Piers Hewitt on drums and Adam Harrison on bass. Following the release of an acclaimed debut EP in 2003, and on the eve of a potentially career-breaking tour with The Killers, Nicholson found himself deftly ill and on life-support, putting the band on indefinite hold.

Post-recovery the band released limited copies of EXITS, their debut album in 2005 to a rapturous response: Kerrang magazine proclaimed, “If you’re crying out for substance in your music, The Boxer Rebellion are here to soothe your soul,” while the NME stated, “This band can alter your life.” Both The Fly magazine and MusicOMH considered the album “flawless.”

THE PRESENT:
In UNION, The Boxer Rebellion have produced a follow-up of epic proportions that somehow manages to surpass the vertiginous ambitions of its predecessor. While retaining the uniquely charged live sound that has won them a feverishly devoted following throughout Europe, UNION sees the band taking their already lofty ambitions to subliminal levels. From the tribal-drum explosion of opener ‘Flashing Red Light Means Go’, through the wintry atmospherics of enigmatic ‘The Gospel Of Goro Adachi’ to live favourites ‘Evacuate’ and ‘Semi-Automatic’, UNION is an album that transcends convention in a seismic blast of unfettered invention.

The Boxer Rebellion’s albums are completely non-disposable bodies of work – perfectly balanced in exemplary song-writing, epic performances, and wide-ranging creativity that reward the listener time and time again.

Currently being championed by KCRW Music Director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic, Jason Bentley, UNION will be serviced nationwide to non-commercial and college radio stations in the coming weeks.

The band are currently preparing their Spring 09 tour schedule – dates soon to be released.

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/theboxerrebellion
Official Website: http://www.theboxerrebellion.com

Album release information:
UNION LP (Jan 2009)
EXITS LP (re-release)
North America January 13 2009

iTunes Free Global Single of the Week
EVACUATE”
January 13 2009

THE BOXER REBELLION SET TO DIGITALLY RELEASE SOPHOMORE ALBUM UNION ON JANUARY 11, 2009 SINGLE EVACUATE TO BE NAMED GLOBAL SINGLE OF THE WEEK ON ITUNES BEGINNING JANUARY 13

THE BOXER REBELLION SET TO DIGITALLY RELEASE SOPHOMORE ALBUM “UNION” ON JANUARY 11, 2009 SINGLE “EVACUATE” TO BE NAMED “GLOBAL SINGLE OF THE WEEK” ON ITUNES BEGINNING JANUARY 13

“The Boxer Rebellion’s albums are completely non-disposable bodies of work – perfectly balanced in exemplary song-writing, epic performances, and wide-ranging creativity that reward the listener time and time again.” – Stephen Brolan, The Fly

BoxerRebFour years since the birth of their magnificent debut album, EXITS, The Boxer Rebellion digitally release their much-anticipated, self-produced, sophomore record, UNION, on January 11th. In an unprecedented move, iTunes have awarded the band a “Global Single of the Week” spot on January 13th for the track ‘Evacuate’, which will run across every iTunes store on the planet. Mixed by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Feeder) and mastered by Kevin Metcalfe (U2, Prodigy), UNION has also been awarded the Editor’s Choice album slot by iTunes US which will see it receive main page and front page (Rock/Alt) coverage. Both UNION and EXITS will be available at an introductory price during their first two weeks of release (physical release dates forthcoming).

THE PAST:
Formed in London through a chance meeting between Tennessee native Nathan Nicholson (vox/guitar) and Australian Todd Howe (guitar), the line-up was made complete with college friends Piers Hewitt on drums and Adam Harrison on bass. Following the release of an acclaimed debut EP in 2003, and on the eve of a potentially career-breaking tour with The Killers, Nicholson found himself deftly ill and on life-support, putting the band on indefinite hold.

Post-recovery, the band released limited copies of EXITS, their debut album in 2005 to a rapturous response: Kerrang magazine proclaimed, “If you’re crying out for substance in your music, The Boxer Rebellion are here to soothe your soul,” while the NME stated, “This band can alter your life.” Both The Fly magazine and MusicOMH considered the album “flawless.”

THE PRESENT:
In UNION, The Boxer Rebellion have produced a follow-up of epic proportions that somehow manages to surpass the vertiginous ambitions of its predecessor. While retaining the uniquely charged live sound that has won them a feverishly devoted following throughout Europe, UNION sees the band taking their already lofty ambitions to subliminal levels. From the tribal-drum explosion of opener ‘Flashing Red Light Means Go’, through the wintry atmospherics of enigmatic ‘The Gospel Of Goro Adachi’ to live favourites ‘Evacuate’ and ‘Semi-Automatic’, UNION is an album that transcends convention in a seismic blast of unfettered invention.

Listen to “Evacuate” from UNION:

Currently being championed by KCRW Music Director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic, Jason Bentley, UNION will be serviced nationwide to non-commercial and college radio stations in the coming weeks.

The band is currently preparing their Spring ’09 tour schedule – dates soon to be released.