The Boxing Lesson – Wild Streaks & Windy Days

Well this has got to be a first; I’ve been contacted by the management of a band asking if I fancied reviewing their music. To explain what normally happens, I buy a bunch of CDs and when I find time at home or work I give them a good listen and write up what I think of them: it’s that simple (I’ve got the new TV On The Radio, Kings Of Leon, Calexico and Jesu albums to write up). So hats of to Ryan, the manager of the Boxing Lesson, from Austin in Texas for sending me a copy of their album to listen to. I have to be honest, there is some trepidation here. I know nothing about the band, wheras most of the music I write about, I have some knowledge of the group. Here’s a step into the unknown.

However, there is a big clue on the album cover: The Boxing Lesson excel at the brand of big sounding, space rock that their fellow Texans, Secret Machines and I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness specialise in. The best tracks on Wild Streaks & Windy Days are the grand sweeping songs, like the opener “Dark Side Of The Moog”, a brooding darkly psychedelic track that sets the tone for the album. The drifting guitar sound of “Lower” is soothing and helps slow the pace down. “Muerta” sounds like it’s lifting something from a 60’s sci-fi show title, but it still sounds great. The guitar sounds here are great, full of echo and space. Vocalist Paul Waclawsky has a great range on his voice, quiet one minute and soaring the next.

However, there are some mis-steps and it’s when the album veers into different musical territory: “Freedom” has a punchy glam-rock riff and a swirling synth line, but it doesn’t really fit with the mood of the rest of the album. Same goes for “Hanging With The Wrong Crowd” which is a more punkish, fuck-you song. It’s good that there’s some variety in the album, but at the same time, the more psychedelic, space rock songs they have are the strongest on the album, so maybe it would have been better to stick to what works well.

If you want more details on the band, you can find their MySpace Page here and their YouTube videos here.

The Boxing Lesson – Dance With Meow:


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