Review of The Boxer Rebellion's album Union.
The haunting voice of Nathan Nicholson, singer from The Boxer Rebellion delivers a powerful sense of fragility, sounding a little like the Guillemots Fyfe Dangerfield at his best, and there's a lot of post-rock sounding guitars creating a lovely soundscape upon which the vocals are laid. The pretty post-rock leanings of guitarist Todd Howe mix beautifully with the syncopation and incredible variation in the drums of Piers Hewitt. The band channel Radiohead in their Kid A era in the album's highlights, but the majority of songs follow a typical pop structure, albeit infused with the sort of anthemic sounds that made Elbow's Grounds For Divorce the best album of last year.
Union, the second full-length album from The Boxer Rebellion, is finally making its way to a physical release, several months after its digital release. This digital release on iTunes, peaked at #4 on the iTunes chart, but wasn't eligible for a position on the official UK chart owing to no physical copies being available. Hence, this release comes as somewhat of an anticlimax, finding itself awkwardly placed after the hype for the album has died down. The lack of recognition the band will have faced after, paradoxically, a massively successful online release can only be indicative of the fact that the official music chart is in dire need of an update.
Have a listen to the album and you'll realise it's not a million miles away from national radio- and any PR man worth his salt could sell this band as a young Coldplay. Maybe that wouldn't be the best thing for the band, but either way, it would be great for a band of this calibre to have for this release noticed by someone, as it's an exceptional combination of musicianship and songwriting.
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