The Boxer Rebellion- Union (Unsigned) 14/09/2009

September 22, 2009 by  

THE_BOXER_REBELLION_UNION

If you ever went to college, Uni, the Astoria, Bar Fly or any other place you’re likely to bump into a fellow muso, then you’ve surely been involved in one of those ‘I’m more indie than thou’ conversations with some smart-ass who can name every band mentioned in the pages of NME over the last 18months, owns the entire Rough Trade back catalogue and won’t listen to the Cribs because the signed to V2 – wanker! Well, sadly amongst all this indie superiority and one-up-man-ship, the essence of the genre usually gets lost along the way. And herein lays the problem, instead of gigs being full of actual music fans and record labels working for the artist, other distractions and motives seem to get in the way of the music.

A band who knows this all too well is The Boxer Rebellion. Having acrimoniously departed from their record label Mercury, they decided to carryon regardless and have comeback fighting with their second album ‘Union’, which has already this year topped the download charts beating Coldplay and Kings of Leon

The album itself is a stadium filling collection of songs built of soaring heartfelt vocals worked over panoramic landscapes of towering guitars and throbbing bass lines. Like every epic should, Union begins directly in the middle with ‘Flashing Red Light Means Go’. The tracks pounding drums are quickly overshadowed by a soft acoustic guitar and melancholic string section, before Nathan Nicholson’s vocal’s are unleashed on an emotive chorus which combines ascending vocals and guitars, which would soar above any stadium sized crowd before coming back around for one final earth-shattering crescendo.

Throughout, the level of intensity does not waver. The increased ferocity of ‘Evacuate’ and ‘Forces’ juxtapose well with the calm melodic moments of ‘Soviets’ and ‘The Gospel of Goro Adachi’, making the album a gripping listen and leaving The Boxer rebellion sounding more akin to current stadium filling indie bands Doves and Coldplay than your average unsigned band.

Union is an album of epic proportions and is a remarkable effort from an unsigned band. In keeping with the bands indie aesthetic it even comes with access to online content including music lessons from the band, commentary and exclusive downloads – if you needed proof that indie can still prosper than look no further.

[rating:4.5]

By Chris Cummins


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