3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Very Fine Union,
This review is from: Union (Audio CD)
All credit to these four young musicians.
Their history records a more than usually uphill struggle
to make a place for their music in the listening world.
That 'Union' has risen into daylight at all is a measure
of their determination, fortitude and persistence.
The Boxer Rebellion are : Nathan Nicholson/vocals, guitar
and keyboards; Todd Howe/lead guitar; Adam Harrison/bass and
Piers Hewitt/percussion. Together they make a splendid noise.
Their sound is dense and layered. Chiming chords, solid
blocks of ground shaking rhythm and Mr Nicholson's
passionately committed vocal delivery. Not a great voice
but a fine one and a more than worthy communicator of the
essence of these eleven memorable songs.
There is a marvelous energy running through 'Evacuate'.
(A certain Irish rock band comes to mind here and there
but this should not distract us in valuing what makes
it different). It is a rip-roaring anthem.
'Soviets' demonstrates the band's ability to manage both
light and shade. The delicately simple but beautiful melody
evolves into a richly glowing minor-key soundscape of
considerable harmonic complexity. Mr Hewitt's drums
deserve a special mention all their own. He is the glue
which holds it all together.
'Misplaced' is a bit of an epic. Once again from slow,
measured beginnings the piece grows gently in shape and
form until the incandescent chorus bursts out of its
warm and generous heart. Truly magnificent stuff!
'These Walls Are Thin' is a short and sweet minature lacking
none of the emotional clout of the rest of the album.
Knowing when to stop is a skill many other bands would do well
to learn. Giving less sometimes leaves your audience wanting more
(and I would have happily listened to another five minutes!)
Final track 'Silent Movie' creates a wonderfully haunting
atmosphere. Mr Nicholson's clear-as-a-bell falsetto floats
like a bird over the rolling guitar and percussion ostinato.
Once again the arrangement builds and builds to a resounding
crescendo before falling away enigmatically into nothing.
Dropping into my lap at the end of a year filled with so many
diverse, exciting and wonderful musical experiences, 'Union'
feels like another precious Christmas gift delivered just a
little late in the day by our postman. I'm glad it arrived!
Listening to the magical contents made an Old Wolf smile.