Monday, May 21, 2007

The Hurt Process

Since there is a dearth of information on the Internet about Boxer, I want to say a few things. Quite a few things actually. In a time between releasing face to face's Live! and the Get Up Kids' Something to Write Home About, Vagrant Records had a few relatively unknown bands on their label. They had previously done one-off 7"s, distributed some records and released the first volume of Before You Were Punk. Now, they were signing bands and had a few in the pipeline. Inserted in the liner notes of Live!, it was there that I first read about Boxer.

Described as "Shades of Lifetime and the Promise Ring," I was very curious to hear this Boston-based four-piece. I was just getting into those aforementioned bands and was all ears with what The Hurt Process had to offer. Ordering the record without hearing a note, I was really taken with what I heard. There was definitely a comparison to Lifetime with the speedy tempos and melancholy melodies. But the wavering vocals sounded like frontman Dave Vicini was having a panic-fueled freakout. Still, I liked it. A lot.

What seems like such a short time now didn't feel like it when the band was around. Hitting the road supporting the record, they had an augmented line-up. Drummer Chris Pennie opted to work with the then-unknown Dillinger Escape Plan and was replaced by former Get Up Kids drummer Nathan Shay. Also adding a second guitarist to the fold, Boxer was out and about, but not for long. They had some new songs and planned on doing a second album, but the band fell apart in 1999.

Boxer was one of many great bands that burned brightly, albeit shortly. Like their fellow brethren Empire State Games, they kicked major ass and their music still resonates. Though their stories don't carry as much leverage as bands like Braid, the Promise Ring and Hot Water Music for what I wanted to do with POST, I haven't forgotten them. I must say, it's strange to love a band so much but seven years later, it's almost like they never existed. I'm glad people like Eric and Amy remember them, but in a world that seemingly only cares about what matters to a young target demographic today, the fight to not forget is difficult.


Anonymous said...

I will definitely never forget these guys. They were best friends of ours. Always staying with us, taking us on the road to shows with them. I met Dave through Kevin at Vagrant and instantly fell in love with Boxer. The Hurt Process is hands down one of my all time favorite albums. Eric and I have extremely fond memories of these guys and can't listen to that album without tippin' a lil' out.

Thanks for posting about them.

Unknown said...

Boxer and Empire State Games both incredible.