The Boxer Rebellion #4 - B-Sides & Rarities Release

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A band I've seen close to ten times over the years since I moved south (I used to use Songkick to track such geekery but it's stopped telling you how many times you've seen a band for some silly reason) are The Boxer Rebellion, I remember the first gig I saw of there's at the ICA in 2005, with two great bands in support (both sadly no more, Pure Reason Revolution and Redjetson) it was shortly after their debut full-length Exits had seen its release and their label had gone bump, it was a great, great show. I picked up a copy of their earlier self-titled EP and a few single too, at the time it was the only way to get some pretty incredible tracks...

I say at the time because if you fast forward seven and a half years (plus in brief synopsis; a serious illness to lead vocalist Nathan Nicholson, various support slots including with Editors - a band who had previously supported them, US tours, HMV exclusives and two further albums releases ) the band have put them (and more) all together on two handy volumes of wonder.

Released via iTunes only (hopefully for now - though iTunes are possibly to thank for giving the band their second wind after picking up on "Evacuate" in 2008/9) are two ten track compendiums of all things Boxers, for me Volume One is like a trip down memory line with various golden oldies hitting you with their ferocious power. "In Pursuit" is Boxers at their best, one minute soft and haunting the next explosive and awe-inspiring. "In the Empire" similarly brilliant, Nathan's vocals perfectly mellow and the lyrics dark and meaningful, the chilling acoustic opening brings tingles to the spine in perfect contrast with the hard rock of "Watermelon" (this is the single version) which is probably the definitive Boxer Rebellion track.

Volume Two brings together a few tracks that were once upon a time available from the bands Myspace site, "Broken Glass" is one of the bands best ever tracks and one I wondered why was left off the bands second album Union, ethereal guitar soundscapes and a richly glowing melody, emotive and wonderful, almost identical words could be said for another track from the same period, the incandescent "Murder Ballad". For a band I've not listened to much in the past eighteen months these releases have reminded me just what a diverse, exciting and wonderful band The Boxer Rebellion are.

Stream two of the tracks from Volume One below and grab a free track called "The Rescue" with an email address here.