Alternative rock band Boxer Rebellion deliver a raw and stripped-back sixth album in Ghost Alive [Review]

Alternative rock band Boxer Rebellion deliver a raw and stripped-back sixth album in Ghost Alive [Review]

A focus on the personal is a nice change from previous songs

Alternative rock band The Boxer Rebellion dropped their sixth album Ghost Alive last Friday, showing the four-piece’s more tender, acoustic side.

Opener What and closer Goodnight channel Rush Of Blood To The Head-era Coldplay, as Nathan Nicholson’s distinctive vocals ebb and flow over warm, often sleepy, acoustic chords. Rain, Fear and Lost Cause all use folk-like guitar picking, and low brass and strings for some gentle, spine-tingling moments.

Don’t Look Back shows hints of the stylings used by Lucy Rose and Local Natives on their last albums, and the classical guitar in Don’t Ever Stop is reminiscent of folk singer Laura Marling.


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Here I Am, a song inspired by Nicholson’s father’s death, is beautifully fragile; it builds to a heart-wrenching climax with the simple, sentimental lyrics, “I lost you once, I won’t lose you again.”

Love Yourself reminds us of the importance of taking care of yourself: “You’re just someone who’s feeling all alone ... / If you just ask for help, first thing I’ll say, you’ve got to love yourself.”

Ghost Alive is even more personal and stripped back than 2011’s insular album The Cold Still – a nice but unexpected change from 2016’s multi-layered Ocean By Ocean.

Edited by Pete Spurrier

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Beauty behind the darkness

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