April 16, 2002

Boxing Lesson "The Boxing Lesson"

There's something undeniable about The Boxing Lesson's debut. At times, you'll be more than quick to think, "Haven't I heard that song before?" I know I have, but I also know I haven't, which means that The Boxing Lesson is doing something right. They've got a quality that belittles the fact that this is a debut album--leading me to think that they've spent time working in the studio--which more bands should do, it seems. Yes, their songs are dark, a bit sad, and heavy on the atmosphere--which probably means that they're going to grow tired of the Radiohead and Coldplay comparisons.

Of course, the critics are certainly right to point potential listeners in that direction. The Boxing Lesson make Britpop that does follow along those lines, but don't think for a minute that they're simply imitating anyone; they're simply expanding on preconceived notions, and they do it quite well. Kicking off the set is the droning, somber "Mexican Disguise," which grows louder and louder and then fades off into the shadows. "Motorola" follows, and though it's a pleasant number, it doesn't quite match what came before it, and it pales in comparison to the loud, epic dirge of "Every Bite Tastes the Same." The set closes with a grand finale, "Hard to Fake" which shifts and shimmers and simply burns in passionate intensity.

The promise on The Boxing Lesson is so great, that you'd probably want to hold them to their potential in a court of law. If there's a band that I'm certainly pulling for in terms of their next album, it's The Boxing Lesson. Though the songs on here are all a bit long, they fly by rather quickly, and doesn't leave you satisfied...because you'll certainly want more of The Boxing Lesson. Maybe that's why someone invented the "repeat" feature. A band to watch, for sure.

--Joseph Kyle

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