Boxing offer up a tedious third release with Way Down East. The record tends to be all over the map stylistically, which could be great, but they don't harness the punk energy or classic rock structure that they seem to enjoy. The out-of-tune vocals lack the folk/country sincerity of someone like Will Oldham, an influence Boxing seems to be shooting for, at times. Many of the layers of instruments do not seem to have a purpose sonically, except for keeping things disjointed. Samples bleed the tunes together, a trick that makes the weaving together of the record puzzling. The last half of the record seems to be more focused than the first half. "Thievery and Girls" is definitely the best track on the disc. This is a haunting tune that hints at what Boxing could be with sparce guitar picking, distant drums, and lazy vocal delivery with high pitch vocal tones in the background that add color. These Los Angeles boys sound like they are from England, and take their cues from the likes of the Kinks, Paul Weller, and the Buzzcocks. It might be better if Boxing lost the consciously sloppy deconstruction of their song structures and actually fleshed out the interesting melodies that lie underneath all of the weirdness. The ideas are there in the distance on Way Down East, and we want to hear Boxing bring them to the foreground, and into decent songs on Boxing's future releases.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Francis Arres