This is just what it sounds like when it’s done right; an indie rock record by those lately dearly missed lads after coming back around the block, two years older and two years wiser – still making bombastic, swaggering, melancholic rock music. But listen closer. This time they are subtly more perceptive, in composure, mainly in the songwriting. But they are just as elegant in their demeanor as ever.
The London based quartet THE BOXER REBELLION lent out their name from a rebellious uprising in China. And, seriously, if anyone would make a film, á la Braveheart, about it, Promise the band’s brand new fourth album, could definitely contribute more than half of the songs to its soundtrack. It has everything that’s essential: Nathan Nicholson’s crooning falsetto, fiercely stomping drum beats and incisive post rock guitar sounds. It has it’s ups and downs, it’s loud and quiet moments. Yet, in the end it sums up to be a coherently consistent piece. Promises simply is an anthem of its own, from the beginning to the end.
It starts out with Diamonds, probably the strongest track of the album. THE BOXER REBELLION proves, once again, how very technically skillful and highly experienced they are, by the way they layer post rock guitar sounds over Nicholson’s melancholic voice and yet create a perfect indie pop song. The next track Fragile, though, then invokes the records actual atmospheric density, with continues with Take me back, Keep moving and You belong to me – songs that simply live off their epic dimension.
As is often the case with excellent albums, Promises remains sharp throughout and actually finds another gear to its orchestral vitality. On Safe House, Nicholson strikes up the probably most memorable anthem of the record, punctuated by the chorus, “Let go / Let go / For tomorrow is only a new day / not too far away”. And, of course, in the end the title track sums the record up with yet another monumental delight for your ears and hearts.
You might now be asking yourself “Can it actually be that good?” And we say “Yes, it can!” So give it a listen and join the rebellion!