Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Boxing Lesson-Wild Streaks and Windy Days

The Boxing Lesson
Wild Streaks and Windy Days

Wild Streaks and Windy Days is the first full-length album for Austin experimental rockers The Boxing Lesson. Initially formed in Los Angeles, the band’s frontman, Paul Waclawsky, relocated to Texas, where a new lineup assembled. The trio put out an EP entitled Songs in the Key of C in 2006. A lush psychedelic spaceship of rich synth and echoing guitar, the band consists of Waclawsky on vocals, guitars and triwave picogenerator, Jaylinn Davidson on synthesizers and vocals, and Jake Mitchell on drums and samples. After the completion and release of the album in 2008 Mitchell was sentenced to federal jail for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. Kevin Sparks currently serves as touring drummer for the band.

The first track, entitled, “Dark Side of the Moog,” commences with a deep melodic guitar interlude that sets a tone of out-of-this world ambience and spiritualized psychedelia. Waclawsky’s vocal tone sounds almost forewarning or intuitive of something bad to come. He advises the listener to “face your fear before you turn out the light, come in darkness, kiss your kids goodnight.” Before the minute long experimental sound outro, Waclawsky wallows in ghostly vibrato vocal, that “on the dark side you can sell your sins, on the dark side you will never win.”

The album’s fourth track, “Hopscotch & Sodapop,” is an awkward, over-poppy, out of character, complete 180 from the other tracks on the album. Apart from that being the only track I’d skip, the only possibility is that Hanson and The Boxing Lesson were being produced with the same computer and the two band’s tracks made an accidental switcharoo. “Hanging with the Wrong Crowd,” begins with a quick drum cymbal tapping and integrates with 8-bit computer game samples before bursting into a heavy rock guitar riff accompanied by harsh accusations towards a “loose girl” hanging with the wrong crowd: “you get around, everyone knows you get around.”

Another track, “The Art of Pushing Me Away,” is a soft stratospheric spacey jam that exudes a melancholy theme of rejection. The concluding track, “Wild Streaks and Windy Days,” which also shares the same title as the album, encompasses a music box sound is reminiscent of something David Bowie performed in the movie Labyrinth.

Wild Streaks and Windy Days is a blissful album perfect as a chill at home companion.