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CD REVIEW: The Boxing Lesson - Radiation
By Steve Allat - 08/15/2004 - 11:21 PM EDT

Artist: The Boxing Lesson
Album: Radiation
CD Review: Label: Independent - send me your head records
Tracks: 7
Released: 2004
For Fans Of: Radiohead, A Perfect Circle, Pink Floyd, Loretta
Fav Track: Don't Cry, Radiation, Dream Away.

There's no denying from the first sounds you hear, that Los Angeles' The Boxing Lesson are firmly entrenched in the realm of atmospheric progressive rock in the vein pioneered by Radiohead in the late 90's. The task in listening to the rest of this concise 33 minute CD was to find what would make The Boxing Lesson stand apart, for better or worse.

The songs are more on the slow side - contemplative both in lyric and in music. Changes are slow to form and sounds are lush & long, begging you to be patient and to listen close. That's not a bad thing. So, listen close I did, a few times through.

Much as I tried, I still found myself wanting to get to the 'heart' of each song a little sooner than the intro's got me there, as patterns repeated for too many bars, introducing an additional sound at a time just a little too slowly for my liking. Additionally, each song seemed to adhere to the 'slow buildup' theory before erupting into a final climax and outtro, usually featuring some great guitar solo. In between all of this sound, and some very nice vocals by Paul Waclawsky, was some very interesting music, both in melody and individual performance.
I especially enjoyed 'Don't Cry', which featured descending vocals in the chorus (a novelty) and an awesome ending of heavy layered guitar. More of this please?
Dream Away is also a very nice song and an excellent closer due to it's straightforward simplicity.

The production, packaging & performances (3 P's of quality Promotion) are all top notch.

All in all, I enjoyed the CD, but all the while knowing that I would have enjoyed it more with some different arranging amongst the songs. A heavy groove to start, would have a been a welcome change, for example.
As well, that something I was listening for never materialized. I knew I wasn't listening to a band playing like another band, but the threshold was never crossed whereby I found myself listening to 'The Boxing Lesson' and ONLY 'The Boxing Lesson'. Maybe next time - the pieces seem to be there.

Contact: The Boxing Lesson
Website: The Boxing Lesson

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