If there’s two things that ANBAD really likes, it’s manipulating the idea of a band’s newness to slightly absurd degrees, and an opportunity to splash around in some good old-fashioned ultra-cynicism.
Handily, The Boxing Lesson conflate these two conceits in one neat, calming package. The ‘N’ part of ANBAD – the newness – has always been a matter of debate. Is the band new to me, to you, or the whole world? And if you care that much, then go and find the bands yourself, sunshine, so I can have a lie-in every morning.
The Boxing Lesson, however, have a Back Story. It’s a good Back Story. It involves them recording a tape of cutting-edge and technologically exciting music back in 2004, and then having the master tape stolen, which has only just been recovered.
Which brings us neatly to the hefty dollop of cynicism. Surely that can’t be true, my synapses – ninja-trained to rubbish any such claim after years of exposure to PR-cobblers – all screamed at once. But occasionally intrigue gets the better of a weary soul, and, so heck, I’ll buy it.
Thus, this tape of songs is no longer cutting-edge – it was made with Zip Disks – and, you know, it’s all the better for it. We immediately disconnect from the swirl and bluster of today’s music and allow ourselves to enjoy the billowy openness and comfy laziness of the songs themselves.
So in this way, The Boxing Lesson are truly new – and these tapes a peek into the mind of an artist over half a decade ago: a time capsule, unencumbered by years of innovation, retrogression, whatever.
Photo by Cory Ryan