The Boxer Rebellion
- Heather Crumley
- 5 March 2009
It used to be the case that once a band had toured the UK into submission, they were shipped over to the US to try to – gulp – break America, but a growing number of British acts are finding success across the pond before they’ve made a significant impression at home – see Imogen Heap. Few, however, have done it with quite such style as Anglo-Australian-American quartet The Boxer Rebellion.
Despite debut album Exits receiving feverish acclaim in the UK on its release in 2005, the band was dropped by their label Poptones only weeks later and album sales stalled, but they soon found that America was waiting with open arms.
It’s easy to see why. Their marriage of Editor’s epic gloom with U2’s delay pedals and reach-for-the-sky choruses gives them instant mainstream appeal, with Nathan Nicholson’s raw, beguiling vocals granting them a rockier edge: a near-faultless formula for success.
The band remains without a label, and in January, second album Union earned them a place in history as the first unsigned band to have an album chart inside the Billboard Hot 100. However, while the album reached the top five on iTunes over here, rules deemed the digital-only release ineligible for official chart entry. Curiously though, this has worked in the band’s favour, prompting legions of fans to voice their dissent, gaining them significant attention and prompting a limited physical release. It may have been a slow climb, but success on home soil now seems imminent.
Garage, Glasgow, Mon 16 Mar