The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

CD Review

By Frankie Farrar-helm/entertainment editor

The Cold Still, The Boxer Rebellion’s latest album, released Feb. 7, could be described as a fair representation of the band’s achievements to date.

The record has impressive musicianship, the level of which, one could argue, can be reached only after 10 years of touring and recording music.

The Boxer Rebellion, a London-based quartet, formed in 2000 when lead singer Nathan Nicholson moved to Britain from Tennessee. Looking to form a band, he teamed up with Australian guitarist Todd Howe, whom he met through an Internet want ad for musicians, before meeting bassist Adam Harrison and drummer Piers Hewitt.

Although hardly a household name, The Boxer Rebellion made history when its last album, Union, became the first self-released album to break into the U.S. top 100 on digital sales alone. Since then, the band members starred as themselves in the Hollywood film Going the Distance and secured the services of Kings of Leon producer, Ethan Johns.

The Cold Still is an appropriate name for this new compilation. It’s more sober, more gradual than previous works. The songs flow rather than move instantaneously from one area to the next. Each instrument has been skillfully captured.

“Caught by the Light,” the fifth track on the album, showcases the richness that the band has strived for — a song where lead guitar lines are layered over heavenly piano crescendos. This beautiful song exemplifies the band’s maturity and musical harmony. “Locked in the Basement” and “The Runner” are unforgettable songs even though there’s nothing to particularly distinguish the band from their better-known peers. Lead single “Step Out of the Car,” which was performed on David Letterman last year, sets back to the pace and volume that fans of previous albums know.

To complement the compassionately woven guitar parts that hold this album together are delicately pronounced poetic lyrics. One example is the bonus track “Spitting Fire” where Nicholson sings, “Dreams in fiction, lost religion, but I don’t mind … ’cause I spit fire on lovers and liars.”

Some songs, however, have words with no emotional pull or melody that commands the listener’s attention. During certain moments toward the end of the record, various elements begin to feel stagnant, dampening the overall effect of the better songs.

Arguably the group’s most cohesive and significant album to date, despite its few minor flaws, The Cold Still is also undoubtedly the easiest to become attached to.

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