For the uninitiated, The Boxing Lesson is a 5 piece band out of Southern California, who has shared the stage with the likes of Starflyer 59, among others. Their 4 song self-titled 2003 release can be best described as moody rock with a bit of a space-rock flair at points. The space rock themes, though, do not manifest themselves in ambient washes of noise or lyrics about riding on rockets. Instead, the whole moodiness of the record, with it’s darker, more morose tones and slow building moodiness give the ep a bit of a 70’s space rock vibe. The Boxing Lesson combines elements of slow core, progressive rock, dream, and classic-70’s-pink-floyd-inspired ditties to come up with an interesting sounding ep.
But, perhaps more than anything, a cd can be judged by its ability to transcend mere “background” music to one’s day and become a defining soundtrack to a particular instance in life. In other words, a cd truly becomes part of the listener when the listener incorporates the cd into the events of their life. In this case, upon hearing about the death of my friend this morning, prematurely from cancer, I have The Boxing Lesson playing as I grieve, and as I think about the wife my friend has left behind. And you know what, the music is perfect for this sad day. The playing is heartfelt, the singing passionate, and the songs are not poppy, but pensive, and even a little solemn. I love how the singer wails on the climax of “Motorola”. I love the reverbed guitar work in “Every Bite Tastes the Same”, and the cool, almost reggaeish beat of “Hard to Fake” provides nice contrast to the more traditional numbers found on the other songs. Overall, The Boxing Lesson is a well-crafted ep, and worth the money to order it. However, more than anything, I will always remember this ep as a pivotal part in my mourning, and ultimately, my celebration of the life of my friend. Any cd that can do that deserves a spin from other fans of good, sullen music.