on 23 September 2013
Where to start with this one. Just amazing from beginning to end. This band should be enormous which just goes to show how little justice there is in the music business. I must admit it took me a few listens for the songs to finally grab the ears and brain, but now I'm hooked. Sweeping melodies and the vocals of Nathan Nicholson are just so moving. To single him out is of course unfair since the band as a whole have created this incredible offering, but the signature sound is obviously his and this provides the guiding light of the music. This CD should be made compulsory listening and a lesson to all on how a few songs go together to make a truly excellent opus. For me there is one big problem though: How on earth are they going to top this?
on 13 May 2013
Anyone who has kept half an eye on The Boxer Rebellion's progress, knew that when Promises was announced, that we were in store for a beautiful collection of songs. The band have moved away from the rawness of 'Watermelon', their first feature single in 2003, as front-man Nathan Nicholson, has learnt to bring out the best in his voice. The memorable drums of 'Evacuate' - which incidentally featured as an iTunes single of the week at one point - are maintained in part on this new release, but prepare yourself for a mellower and arguably more entrancing sound with this TBR's fourth album.
We kick off the record with a single that oozes class in 'Diamonds' and shows the musical world that you a belting chorus is not always required to produce an outstanding track. The same can be said of 'New York' whose chorus is even more stripped down than 'Diamonds' and relies solely on a building drum beat and Nathan's controlled vocals. Whereas I enjoyed jumping around to the older material, these two tracks connect with me on a deeper emotional level. Other picks for me include 'Always' and the title track 'Promises', the latter of which is every bit as strong as the final track on The Cold Still, named 'Doubt'. The band have a habit of signing the album off with a haunting track that makes you want to hit the replay button time and again!
Why does the album fall short of getting a full 5 stars from me? This is because I'm being hyper-critical and think they could have done more with the song 'You Belong to Me'. It's another slower one but fails to send goosebumps down my spine for one reason or another. Also, purchasing the CD from Amazon doesn't include track 10, 'Dream' and I was a little disappointed to make this discovery.
The Boxer Rebellion certainly have brought a richness to their music with the production of their last couple of albums and I believe that Promises should appeal to a widespread audience; pop fans as well as alternative rockers should be seduced by this record. It will provide them with their biggest shot at stardom yet.
on 14 May 2013
I'm sure there will be far more eloquent reviews about this album than mine, but all you need to know is this record is an absolute belter.The last two albums were great, but dare I say it this is better than both and maybe sees the band at their peak.
on 1 June 2013
Like every good band The Boxer Rebellion try new ideas with every album. Promises is no exception. They are using more synths and possibly loops from what I can tell but the end result is a very cerebrally pleasing product, bordering on pop in places but never straying too far from the building, rhythmic and haunting sonic landscapes that TBR have made their own. Check out 'Diamonds' and 'New York'.