Plymouth punk upstarts Boxkite formed in 2013 to play sad hardcore, apparently. This first release showcases this young band’s first forays into the recording studio, with mixed results.
Opening with ‘Struggles’, Boxkite put forward their sonic manifesto in 70 concise seconds, beginning calmly with sinister and brooding picked guitar chords before going blast-beat crazy for probably only about 15 seconds before settling into a grinding, sludgy Melvins riff. As an intro it works really well – it’s reminiscent of Mike Patton’s Fantomas project and is similarly entertaining.
This transitions seamlessly into ‘Cycles’, the collection’s first proper song. It opens with a high-paced bass riff and some incredible chops being displayed on the drums but unfortunately, there aren’t any real hooks to speak of. The next song, ‘Red Skies’, is more or less identical and both tunes descend into a feedback-laden sludgy breakdown towards the end. There isn’t a great deal that sets these two songs apart.
The next couple of tracks have a combined run time of less than two minutes and where it’s fine to have a short song, these tunes don’t feel like they get a chance to develop – ‘Groom Lake’ in particular feels like it could have been something special if only they’d given it legs.
Over all, there are some really great moments on show from this young band here. It feels like they would be a hell of a spectacle to witness live with extra special props going to the absolute octopus of a drummer they have behind the kit. On record, they’re not quite there yet but you feel like it’s only a matter of time.
2.5 out of 5 high fives!