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MP3 The Boxing Lesson - ROCK: Psychedelic

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Debut EP from The Boxing Lesson. Carefully crafted atmospheric rock symphonies chase Sergio Leone's dreams into the black holes of the heavens.

4 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Psychedelic, ROCK: Modern Rock



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"The problem with many dark and atmospheric releases is that the band often views the label of being brooding as an invitation to write songs that move slowly or without direction at all. Worse still, the vast majority of mood bands in the industry struggle to present their ideas in a format that allows the listener to grasp the same purpose that the writer originally had.

Luckily for us, Californian act The Boxing Lesson are able to convert their ideas into songs which will undoubtedly leave the same impression on the listener as on the performers themselves. What's even more amazing is that this rare ability is introduced on their debut effort, and not the 2 or 3 albums that it usually takes an act to perfect an art.

If I may hype this band up for a moment, The Boxing Lesson are as close to perfection as imaginable. Each of the four tracks on this debut self-titled EP gracefully drift through the dark night, and with every intricate guitar melody there is a star that lights the way. The haunting vocals help to build tension within the songs, and as exemplified in the gorgeous 'Every Bite Tastes The Same', work in tandem with the Radiohead (think OK Computer era) styled guitars nicely to provide a very Pink Floyd-ish space-rock wall of noise that are introduced and pulled back at the most crucial of times.

Even with a speed that doesn't vary much throughout the release, The Boxing Lesson give each track a different personality that enables it to be easily differentiated from the next. Closer 'Hard To Fake' is probably the most drastic change on the EP, a gloomy landscape of riding through a baron country landscape on a quiet night with the help of a steady strum, ominous drumming and eerie background noises. 'Mexican Disguise' and 'Every Bite Tastes The Same' rely on perfectly timed build ups and halts, whilst never losing it's addictive momentum, much like 'Motorola' although on this track more influences can be heard, including an Air moment (perhaps 'Kelly Watch The Stars'?) and a soulful vocal outburst that is sure to surprise even on repeat listens.

The Boxing Lesson have addressed every issue that has ever plagued atmospheric rock and mended them in what seems like a manner that seems to simple to be true. Every single element of this EP, from the background noises, to the beat, to the guitar hooks and vocals are so highly accessible and well thought out that I can't help but imagine how on earth this band could possibly improve. After all, this is only their debut! Want beautiful music? Need The Boxing Lesson."
Rating: *****
Noise Theory (Australia)


"Yes, yet another Smiths/Radiohead/Coldplay-influenced band of Yanks, but a really good one. This promising Los Angeles quintet goes for an airy, dramatic, unhurried, mournfully sweet sound that may owe more than a little to all those Brits, but they pull it off without sounding overly familiar. It helps that they have a striking vocalist in Paul Waclawsky. Although his gentle falsetto in "Mexican Disguise" warrants the inevitable Thom Yorke comparisons, he displays a dazzling range throughout these four songs. His whisper-to-nearly-a-scream dynamic in the epic, gradually accelerating "Motorola" is just beguiling, and so is his warm, fragile, almost androgynous tone (oddly reminiscent of Erasure's Andy Bell) on the sublime "Every Bite Tastes The Same". The music is also memorable, with guitarist John Treanor and keyboardist J. Phil Cobb putting an assortment of gadgets and effects to subtly atmospheric, cinematic use. You could imagine a track like "Hard To Fake" adequately enhancing a revisionist film noir, its reverb-heavy, reggae-like strut keeping time with the flick's anti-hero as he walks down a deserted misty street bathed in shadows."
SPLENDID UK - BEST OF 2003

The Boxing Lesson used to be:
Paul Waclawsky (guitar, vocals, synth)
John Treanor (guitar)
Phil Cobb (guitar, polymoog)
Casey Jones (drums)
Chris Judd (bass)

The Boxing Lesson crafts intricate, atmospheric rock symphonies, born from a sparse theme, often building to a lush sonic wash. Supplemented by gentle brooding vocals, distant analog keys, and bass and drums, the guitars interweave amongst each other, chasing the spirits of Sergio Leone's dreams through the black holes of the heavens.


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