Album Review: The Boxer Rebellion – The Cold Still (Absentee)

Yet to see persistence pay off and lacking in emotive charm

When [a]The Boxer Rebellion[/a] sleep, they probably dream of the kind of slow-burn breakthrough [a]The National[/a] had with ‘High Violet’. They have the relentless persistence needed to stick to the wall long enough (this is their third self-released album), but despite their striving for the grandiose (Kings producer Ethan Johns provides the country-ish bluster) and breaks (a spot in rom-com Going The Distance for last album ‘Union’), there’s still that dark sparkle missing.

The [a]Arcade Fire[/a]-fuelled chug of ‘Organ Song’ and the [a]Fleet Foxes[/a]-y ‘Locked In The Basement’ are cosy enough, but despite their constant straining for emotiveness the tone is more dreary than teary.

Jamie Fullerton


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