Boxes aren’t Scottish, they’re from Brighton, I think. That’s kind of irrelevant because their debut album, Stickers, out on the 11th of June, is quite good. It’s a side project from one of the guys in Athlete, a band I’m pretty sure I completely missed out on. Am I missing out on much? Either way, Stickers is great.
It starts with the big crashing jump-off of One, a mix of synth, electro beats and guitar that sums up the rest of the album. I don’t mean that in a stultifying Owl City kind of way, I mean it in a Postal Service kind of way. The second track, Throw Your Stones, was what made me zero in on that last influence, because the clash of Carey Willetts’ (Titled: “Boxes incarnate” in the press email) soft voice and the mixed media melodies sounds a lot like Such Great Heights.
On the third track, Red Skies, the album soars, shock and awe and volume. I’ve embedded it below.
After the building intensity of Between Whiskey & Snow, there’s Silent Alarm, which was featured on a previous EP by Boxes. Apparently there was some sort of backlash from Boxes’ friends over a video he made for the song: “People were treating the video as if it meant I’d had an affair. I just felt so alone, even my closest friends wouldn’t speak to me.” Pretty intense stuff by the sounds of it.
I expected Stickers to slow down and power down after about the eighth track, and I half expected to become bored of it around the same point. The lo-fi feel of Dominoes and the pop finish on Don’t Look Down didn’t quite banish that feeling, though the brace gives a nice cap to the record.