The first time I saw them was when I watched Going The Distance. I was intrigued and decided to find out more about this band. Who were the faces behind this catchy song?
I found out they had already released a couple of albums. So, thanks Hollywood, good job introducing them to me :)
I have recently been listening to their latest release, The Cold Still. The Boxer Rebellion is one of my favourite bands right now and their songs never get tiring. I’ve listened to the album a few times now, and every time there's something new for me to discover. You know what I'm talking about, right?
The Boxer Rebellion consists of Tennessee’s Nathan Nicholson (vox, guitar, keyboard), Australia’s Todd Howe (guitar), and England’s Adam Harrison (bass) and Piers Hewitt (drums). They have released 3 records, and I highly recommend you check them out. If you enjoy bands like The Cinematics, Editors, The Airborne Toxic Event, and The Dears, buy The Boxer Rebellion’s new album.
No Harm (4:02) - The opening track to the album, maybe not the strongest song of the album, but gives a good build-up to the rest of the album. A pretty slow song, it starts off with some nice acoustic-sounding drums. Sounds exactly like their old stuff. The lyrics are simple, and the choruses get kind of repetitive after a while. But still a good song to just listen to with your eyes closed, and make your own story around the lyrics.
Step Out of the Car (3:07) - Starting with bass and drums, this song has a very strong start to it. This song doesn’t have the simple 4-chord progression like the first track, and that gives this song a bit more depth. The chorus is really catchy, and makes you want to sing along. Check the live performance on The Late Show with David Letterman. They nailed it!
Locked in the Basement (3:42) - With more of an acoustic and folk feel, this song is also very strong, with your typical folk pattern, but with a little rock feel to it as well. It uses a simple progression, but the vocal melodies make it sound like it changes, even though it doesn’t. This song is for sure one of my favourite songs on the record. The video above, an acoustic performance. What can I say? These guys SO know what they're doing!
Cause For Alarm (3:34) - A very acoustic, soft rock-sounding song. I like it. It sounds simple, but is very complex in its own ways. A slow jam, this song showcases the band’s musical knowledge and talent. The drummer shows this by making a complicated, but strong rhythm. The guitars mainly follow the vocal melody, which I like, but can sometimes take away depth from the song. This is probably the most meaningful track on this album to me, and I give this song a 5 out of 5.
Caught by the Light (4:51) - With a shuffle feel, this song brings a lot to the table. I like it because of its simplicity, and the power it has to make the simplicity sound AMAZING. This track reminds me of winter, and I would consider this song the title track because of that (hence ‘The Cold Still’). Although everybody would have a different opinion of which song best suits the name of the record, I’m pretty sure that this song would get a lot of votes. The piano in this song is so defining, and the heavy drums closer to the end make this song just even better, and its a nice little surprise to hear heaviness in this soft and quiet song. I like that about the song.
Organ Song (3:28) - A happier song, I think the placement of this song in the record is incorrect. I think this should be the last track, with an uplifting feel to it, after a few ballads. I could see this song in a movie a few years from now. I wouldn’t be surprised. This song just makes me happy, and it’s a good change from the past few songs on the track. It has a different feel than the rest of the songs, and shows us that the band doesn’t just have one system that they use to write their songs.
Memo (3:05) - This song is a mixture of Organ Song, and the others. It brings the album together, makes it a whole. It has that deep and mellow feel of Locked in the Basement, but brings that happy and light feel of Organ Song along with it. A great track, it tells you just how talented the band is, and all of the music they have yet to write.
Both Sides Are Even (5:05) - Again, sounding like Locked in the Basement, but a little bit different, I like this one. For some reason it reminds me of Metric’s ‘Empty’, but I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why. The ‘orchestra’ in the background sounds like a computer or keyboard generated tone, which I could’ve lived without. This is a nice buildup to the end of the record, but this song is kind of lengthy. I would’ve liked to see it shortened up a bit, but it’s such a good song that it doesn’t matter that much.
The Runner (3:39) - This song has a completely different feel than the other songs on this album in my opinion. It’s a bit heavier, faster and brings out another quality of the band. This is one of my favourite songs of this album. I just think that the guitar could’ve harmonized with the vocal melodies instead of just copying the vocal melodies, but I’ll live. Overall, a defining track of the record.
Doubt (4:57) - To be honest, this isn’t my favourite song of the record, and it shouldn’t have been placed as the last song of the record, because it doesn’t leave you amazed or end with a bang. It’s just there, if you know what I mean. It’s a good song though, a simple, slow, progression, using just keyboards, and a little bit of guitars. I like the buildup to the end, leaving you with a bit of sadness that the album is over. What I think they’re trying to get at is that the record is over, and you should want to listen to it again. I will.
As a whole, this album is truly wonderful. If I were you, I would buy The Cold Still, and listen to it 70,000 times. Or until I knew every little part of every song :)