PROMISES – MAPLEMUSIC RECORDINGS
Promises carries the first-listen expectation of a climax in which the culmination of soaring vocals and dominant guitar riffs would produce unity. Unfortunately for the Boxers, although this album is absolutely symphonic and melodic from song to song, it lacks in its ability to captivate a listener.
Because the lead vocals float in their haziness, they often disappear into a wall of sound, thus rendering the album one large mess of unknowns. Promises lacks in its ability to develop strength in substance. Its lyrics – although poetic – make the album melancholic and fragile. Single “Diamonds” succeeds as an opener because of its catchy pop sound, reminiscent of that of New Order in the late ‘80s. Towards the album’s conclusion, the title track echoes post-rock hits from Iceland natives Sigur Rós.
Despite the Boxer Rebellion’s ambitious attempts to build the album into a more intimate and honest story of love and loss, Promises seems almost schizophrenic in its perpetual changing. Lyrics lost in sounds not tightly wound enough discourage emotional connection with the listener. Overall, the music itself is difficult to categorize because the Boxers haven’t quite decided what they want it to be.
By Therese SchultzAB, Alberta