Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Boxer Rebellion: "Promises" (album review)

UK quartet The Boxer Rebellion have built a career on putting out rock music that melds melody and atmospheric arrangements.  Their latest effort, Promises (out May 14th), doesn't stray far from that formula.

The album kicks off with its strongest number, "Diamonds".  The track is as peppy and self-assured as spacey guitar rock gets, demonstrating that element of their music.

In terms of the melody, its best on display with the hook-laden "Always".

With soaring vocals and elaborate orchestral arrangements, you would be forgiven for mistaking tracks like "Keep Moving" and "New York" for Coldplay numbers.  Fortunately, Coldplay have rarely approached the level of force and might that The Boxer Rebellion achieve.

It is a sound that is extremely refreshing, at first.  As time goes on and one gives repeated listens the sheen begins to come off some of the songs.  Strangely, while there are countless records that get better with repeated exposure, Promises actually becomes less effective.  Tracks like "Low", "Safe House", and "You Belong To Me" start to blend together.

Promises is indeed a refreshing record.  However, you are going to want to consume it in carefully measured doses so as not to dull its effects.

The Boxer Rebellion play the Opera House in Toronto on May 24th.

Best tracks: "Diamonds", "Always"

Track listing for Promises:
  • Diamonds
  • Fragile
  • Always 
  • Take Me Back
  • Keep Moving
  • New York
  • Safe House
  • You Belong To Me
  • Dream
  • Promises

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