The Boxer Rebellion: The Cold Still – review

(Absentee Recordings)

Although hardly a household name, this London-based quartet made history of sorts when their last album, Union, became the first self-released album to break into the US top 100 on digital sales alone. Since then, they've starred as themselves in Hollywood film Going the Distance and secured the services of Kings of Leon producer, Ethan Johns. They've achieved all this on the back of their one-size-fits-all epic rock, somewhere between Radiohead, Elbow and the National. Although he hails from Tennessee, singer Nathan Nicholson signs straight from the Thom Yorke/David Gray book of existential anguish. At their best, their songs transcend lyrical cliches such as "There's a line between love and hate", and Locked in the Basement and The Runner are undeniably haunting, even though there's nothing to particularly distinguish the band from their better-known peers. Still, they may have decided that it's better being all things to many rather than something very special for a few.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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