The Boxer Rebellion - Promises

Wow - this is some 180! From the earthy, Fleet Fox-y sound of 2011's The Cold Still The Boxer Rebellion have taken quite a different direction. Promises still boasts well-crafted songs: the U2-esque 'Fragile' floats in, gorgeous, yet the hyperactive opener 'Diamonds' and the synthier 'Always' are 'poppier' than what you may be used to. Nathan Nicholson's as-always lovely voice weaves in and out of falsetto, and the songs has a decidedly 80s feel ('Take Me Back' sounds like vintage Depeche Mode). However, the second half of the album seems to return to more familiar territory. The sad melancholy of 'Low' and the beautiful confessional that is 'New York' are more redolent of their previous work.

While it's refreshing to see a band pushing the envelope and widening their sound, this does feel a tad uneven and unsure at times. Nevertheless, Promises is another deeply personal and shimmering piece of work from TBR, held together by the excellent musicianship and Nicholson's confident vocals.



out of 10

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