The Boxing Lesson
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The Boxing Lesson

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2003
Band Rock Psychedelic




"SXSW: The Boxing Lesson and its siren call synthesized rock engulf the Holy Mountain Backyard tent"

AUSTIN – That’s a lot of noise coming from three people. We have the aggressive drum workout of 14-year-old Ben Redman. There’s the spacey, spooky synthesizer loops of Jaylinn Davidson. Plus the fuzzy, vibrate-the-room guitar riffs of Paul Waclawsky. He’s also the man behind the punk-brood voice.

Ben Redman, the 14-year-old drumming prodigy, kept the Boxing Lesson beat fortified. (Charlie L. Harper III/Special Contributor)

That’s the Boxing Lesson, Austin’s synthesized rock trio with the penchant for creating a psychedelic siren call sound that rattles and rivets. Performing Saturday night underneath the big tent of the Holy Mountain Backyard, the Boxing Lesson treated us to a brand new cut, the bone-gnawing “Eat Your Heart Out,” and the conceptual, epic-sized “Health Is the New Drug.” That latter tune sported a long instrumental intro before Waclawsky came in with a mannered, punky new wave vocal performance. It fit the sardonic edge of the song.

That cut is from the Boxing Lesson’s Big Hits album, its newest effort. The focus is on muscle, which is why the show had such reverberating force. “Better Daze” was a good example. The song was clearly driven by the heavy guitar and drums combination, but the synthesizers prominently tempered the onslaught. The same can be said for “Eastside Possibilities,” which Waclawsky declared that he wrote it about Austin.

Bathing Davidson, Redman and Davidson in slicing hues of purple, blue and green was ingenious. The colors actually match the temperament of the music. This is dark, haunting and razor sharp with a hard veneer. - Dallas Morning News / PopCulture Blog

"7 Local Bands to Watch at SXSW 2013"

Orbiting SXSW
7 Local Bands To Watch
Fri., March 1, 2013

(Page 7 of 7)
The Boxing Lesson
Sat., March 16, 10pm, Holy Mountain Backyard
Orbiting SXSW
Photo by Todd V. Wolfson

Paul Waclawsky has a love affair with space. "It goes back to the original Star Wars trilogy," he admits. "It just really affected me. Space sounds like a synthesizer."

Waclawsky's maintained the Boxing Lesson since 2002, when he was still living in Los Angeles. Relocated to Austin nearly a decade ago, he's shifted through several different lineups, April's Big Hits being the first album from his latest trio: Lacy, synth warrior Jaylinn Davidson, and 14-year-old drummer, Ben Redman.

Yes, 14. After previous drummer Jake Mitchell was sentenced to five years for conspiring to manufacture marijuana, auditions were held, and Redman stood out.

"We have such synergy together, which is unlikely considering he's a kid," says Waclawsky.

"I'm pretty tired of talking about my age," sighs Redman, also the beat keeper for local grunge trio Residual Kid. "I don't want to be the little kid on the drums anymore."

"He tried out against other grown ass men," injects Davidson. "We didn't hold it against him that he was 14, and we didn't choose him because he was 14."

Waclawsky's old-school, claiming "Indie Rock Is Dead" a few albums ago. Big Hits has been in the works for several years with producer Chris "Frenchie" Smith. He writes music that pays attention to archaic rules: guitar solos, what makes sense on side A and side B. We joke about putting a sticker on the new album that simply reads: "Don't listen on shuffle."

"We wanted to do the Bowie Low thing, where one side is all rockers and the other side was all slow stuff," explains Waclawsky. "Instead, we put the two long epics on either end and filled the middle with more rock-y, punk-y stuff."

Is there a conceptual framework? Some grand universe-arching narrative in the liner notes? Not really. Running time shakes out to 47:47, but that's just a happy accident. If there's any saga to his music (and his worldview), Waclawsky says it's simply possibilities.

"The first two songs are called 'Endless Possibilities' and 'Eastside Possibilities,'" he points out. "We want to take it from outer space and bring it back to East Austin, where they're sipping on the sidewalk."

The Boxing Lesson constructs scorching, Seventies-imbued psych/prog/space rock in an era where it couldn't be less in vogue. "It's genuine goofiness," laughs Waclawsky. – Luke Winkie - Austin Chronicle

"Big Hits! Album Review"

The Boxing Lesson
Big Hits! (Frenchie Smith)

Hard to be cosmic and stay grounded at the same time, but Austin's acid star the Boxing Lesson does so on Big Hits!. The trio's high-octane blend of earthy hooks and psychedelic astronomy gels to perfection under the guidance of Chris "Frenchie" Smith (Sixteen Deluxe), on whose new label this record appears. Rhythm engine Ben Redman of Residual Kid gives riff-monger Paul Waclawsky and electronics wizard Jaylinn Davidson a drive that brings cosmic debris down to Earth. "Sweet Science," "Hawaiian Buffalo," and "Health Is the New Drug" burn like comets plowing furrows through the fields, while "Fight Parade" and "Endless Possiblities" shine with the afterglow of an exploding star inside a dream. The band winks at its Austin daze with "Eastside Possibilities" and "Red River Blues." Arms buried deep in galactic mud, the Boxing Lesson takes an outer space journey to the center of the Earth. (10pm, Holy Mountain Backyard)

***.5 - Austin Chronicle


"Mammoth wall of sound psychedelic, spaced-out Brian Jonestown desert rock and Spirtualized-style freak outs." NXNE 2012

"Relying on MOOG for bottom end and tons of sonic noise, the songs blend Meddle-era Floyd guitar freak-outs with M83 propulsion, Spiritualized soul space jams with Texas rock ’n’ roll thunder." Creative Loafing Charlotte

"Well, the Boxing Lesson nails it on “Muerta.” Pink Floyd influences the music but there is more to their sound than a Floyd fixation. Elements of M83, the “Northern Soul”-period of The Verve, and the adventurousness of Ponytail all are present here. The effects-laden guitar weaves in and out of the soaring Moog parts, creating a sonic landscape that draws the listener in from the first sound. Muerta has to be in my Top 10 for the year. There is just nothing like it out there." Jim Sells (Vivogig)

"The Boxing Lesson are a package of many good things. I mean this is a trio who sounds like their band is in the Broken Social Scene level. They combine guitars synths and various of other sounds to make abundant soundscapes that just shine." We All Want Someone to Shout For (US)

"Not enough bands make music like The Boxing Lesson any more. Over the course of three EPs, they've managed to create some truly breathtaking and epic music that draw the dots between such seemingly disparate bands as Pink Floyd, My Bloody Valentine and David Bowie. They're equally at home writing short, concise pop songs, and kicking out the jams. They use a Moog synth extensively. In short, unlike a lot of bands, they're consistently interesting." - Craig Franklin / Halo-17 (Australia)

"Austin's The Boxing Lesson give an American update to fuzzy, atmospheric, UK Shoegazer song textures . From the opening track, the Spiritualized-esque "Dark Side Of The Moog" (my pick for song title of the year) onward, The Boxing Lesson creates vast, all-encompassing soundscapes worthy of the best of the original UK scene." - Snob's Music (UK)

"The Boxing Lesson's sound as if Failure and Pink Floyd got together to drink mushroom tea out of fancy little teacups and chase the white rabbit with Brian Eno and Robert Smith" - Indiecision (India) - Various

"The Boxing Lesson premieres video from Muerta EP"

Yeah man! it's nice to hear some Pink Floyd "Wish You Were Here" / "The Wall" era influences every now and then - it's kind of rare. I bet you a ton of people out there had love affairs with those records, although now they'll deny it... Admittedly, in our teens we were obsessed with them. But when we went back in the band's discography and heard Syd Barret... it kind of changed our lives. However, Austin, TX psychedelic space rock band The Boxing Lesson carry obvious Pink Floyd influences from the Roger Waters dominance period. They premiered the first video from their new Muerta EP today. The intense, apocalyptic clip depicts singers and a variety of debris slowly sinking to the bottom of the ocean, set to the song's dark, sweeping lament. - The Deli NYC

"Review: The Boxing Lesson - Muerta EP"

Occasionally, I get the chance to hear something before it hits the streets. That can be good, as I tend to search out or just stumble upon great bands that no one has heard and go spreading the gospel about them as best I can. It can also be bad, because the fact is that you, Dear Readers, have no way of hearing what I am ranting about, no way to let your mind either reinforce or reject my take [Ed's note: Just released].

Well, deal with it. The newest joint to land in my aural space is the EP, “Muerta” from Austin’s own (via LA) the Boxing Lesson. Background is available all over the ‘Net, so go find it if you need it. I would much rather talk about the tunes.

Psychedelic rock is very hit or miss with me, as is space/ambient/noise rock with minimal vocals. Trans Am, M83, Mogwai on their latest, Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will, Doves, the late, lamented Ambulance Ltd. – they all could skate the fine line between interesting experimental, yet musical works (Gang of Four may have been the best ever at that trick) versus the “Hey, lookit! We have no ideas or songs but we make weird sounds” school of garbage that MGMT seems to have doctorates from.

Well, the Boxing Lesson nails it on “Muerta.” Pink Floyd (‘natch) influences the music but there is more to their sound than a Floyd fixation. Elements of M83, the “Northern Soul”-period of the Verve, and the adventurousness of Ponytail all are present here. The effects-laden guitar weaves in and out of the soaring Moog parts, creating a sonic landscape that draws the listener in from the first sound.

“Darker Side of the Moog” opens with some serious “Children of the Sun” synths and slowly morphs into a sludgy meditation on the darker edges of life, with the drumming anchoring the synths and guitar so that they do not just float away. It is very trippy and very engrossing. This sets a high standard for the rest of the EP.

The title track, “Muerta”, slowly strolls into the listener’s head and camps. The song is a soundtrack for a post-Western Western. The lyrics are buried a bit in the mix, so feel free to let your mind wander. See what you come up with on this fantastic psychedelic slow waltz. Thank God for the repeat function on my media player.

“Cassiopeia” is as astral and ethereal as the title would indicate. The Boxing Lesson is very skilled at an open, airy sound that they have developed over the years that allows their listeners to drift into and around their music. That is a damned neat trick, and good work if you can get it. Having been a stagehand for about ten years or so (back in my indestructible days), I could not help but to visualize the light show that this song deserves. It would rock …

Anyway, back to earth. The closer, “Drone to Sleep”, is aptly titled – a lullaby for the post-whatever generation where the lyrics are in the forefront of the mix. “Drone, drone to sleep/got a hold on, got a hold on your dreams” is one of the best chorus lyrics I have heard in a while, implying control over this aural walkabout, while the music suggests both listener and band are just along for the ride. The thing, the “it” that makes your arms break out in goose bumps when you know you are hearing a great band do a great song, ya know, THAT feeling? Well, that is what is driving the finale. “Set the controls for the heart of the sun”, indeed. Damn …

The Boxing Lesson’s “Muerta” has to be in my Top 10 for the year. There is just nothing like it out there, because this lot is doing it well and damn near everyone else is not. GET THIS NOW. Do not hesitate, lest you be lost amongst the dreck of Lady Gaga and her indomitable marketing empire. I am serious – this album is weird and y’all need to get weird, whether you know it or not. - Vivogig

"The Boxing Lesson Muerta Video Premiere"

Yeah man! it's nice to hear some Pink Floyd "Wish You Were Here" / "The Wall" era influences every now and then - it's kind of rare. I bet you a ton of people out there had love affairs with those records, although now they'll deny it... Admittedly, in our teens we were obsessed with them. But when we went back in the band's discography and heard Syd Barret... it kind of changed our lives. However, Austin, TX psychedelic space rock band The Boxing Lesson carry obvious Pink Floyd influences from the Roger Waters dominance period. They premiered the first video from their new Muerta EP today. The intense, apocalyptic clip depicts singers and a variety of debris slowly sinking to the bottom of the ocean, set to the song's dark, sweeping lament. - Consequence of Sound

"Austin Chronicle - Review: Fur State"

Dubbed to limited-edition cassettes, the Boxing Lesson's Fur State offers a low-budget instrumental affair with an unusually high return. Recorded with a four-track in 2004, the eight-part sequence spins a distant carousel waltz of melody and mood, layering elongated vintage synthesizers and drum machine loops over stretches of acoustic guitar. It's a mellow, delirious listen, though "Three" and "Five," in particular, could pass as unfinished demos for the Lesson's customary space rock. - Austin Chronicle

"Your A List: Best Rock Singer or Group (April 2010)"

Your A List: Best Rock Singer or Group

By Michael Barnes | Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 04:37 PM

While Austinites revere their musical gods — Willie Nelson as a benevolent Zeus? — they open up creative spaces for relative newcomers.

The Boxing Lesson, for instance, has only three EPs and one full-length CD to its credit, as per its MySpace page. Yet the duo mesmerized readers into giving them 53 percent of the vote in the A List readers survey for Best Rock Singer or Group.

More established Ghostland Observatory trailed with 17 percent of the tally.

Musical chameleon Bob Schneider placed a respectable third with 10 percent.

Consider the names and reputations of the artists who managed 6 percent or less: Alejandro Escovedo, Okkervil River, Vallejo, White Denim, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Broken Teeth and Black Angels.

Image courtesy of We All Want Someone to Shout For. - Austin American Statesman: A-List

"The Boxing Lesson - Fur State Review"


If there was a band that I’m happy to announce as the next generation genesis of Pink Floyd, it would be The Boxing Lesson. It’s been like many years gone past since Nerdy Frames took a shine to this great band and the fact that we’d interviewed them awhile back and many things have changed since the interim such as many interchangeable members come and gone, their drummer Jake Mitchell was sentenced to 5 years prison for cultivating Marijuana, and now we’re looking at just 2 members ergo duo.

Paul Waclawsky and Jaylinn Davidson put down their microphones respectively on ‘Fur State’ to give us a more warming reception with beautiful instrumentation and a great ethos in the thought department with regards to the music.

It holds a great deal of whimsical merriment that transcends excellence's and puts to shame mainstream releases that are on the market today catered towards hipsters.

Moogs from Jaylinn Davidson (our favorite female keyboard player) are beautifully interwoven with Paul’s sometime acoustic/electric guitar playing with an equal amount of ambient noise and feedback to balance it out.

‘Five’ is my personal favorite sounding like Smashing Pumpkins ‘1979’ and ‘Perfect’ while ‘Six’ sounds very Mars Volta-ish but again it’s a favorite along with ‘Three’ that sprints off your winamp player (or whatever player you’re using).

Pure and simple deliberation The Boxing Lesson is a band that I like because it does its best not to piss me off like the rest of the next gen acts of today with their spray-on pants and snotty attitudes. I generally believe that they work hard at crafting their sound and it shows! - Nerdy Frames NZ

"Champions of Fur State"

Sunday, 26 September 2010
The Boxing Lesson - a two-piece outta Austin Texas. I had never heard of them until they contacted me the other evening. So I got to listening. Their new LP Fur State, numbered from 1 to 8 (first eight - fur state - geddit???), is an interesting and intricate listen, the guitar and synth/Moog interplay making for a refreshing take on the ambient instrumental genre. Its not all easy drifts though, as 'Three' bursts out of the blocks with a lovely acoustic/electric double-helix of sound, that segues from time to time into a space Western-influenced score - High Moon, perhaps?
Then I got to reading. The Boxing Lesson have been around in some form since 2002, having put out quite a few releases and garnering a gamut of good reviews across the globe. They are predominantly known as a psych space rock band and have shown their Pink Floyd influences in the past, which makes you appreciate the change of pace Fur State obviously is (originally created in 2006, reworked for 2010). Having had a band of musical members come and go, including drummer Jake Mitchell who was jailed for manufacturing marijuana, its been a long and arduous journey...and its set to continue.

You can purchase Fur State in mega rad of death orange cassette from their bandcamp site! - Sonic Masala

"The Boxing Lesson Fur State Interview"

The Boxing Lesson: The Interview (Revisited)
By Dr. Jasper PHD

Austin, Texas own The Boxing Lesson are a band of familiarity to Nerdy Frames as we’ve graciously followed their career in the genre of Alternative/Prog Rock for quite awhile now and we love every minute of it.

Recently immortalized into the annuls of Wikipedia (congrats are in order to the band BTW) The Boxing Lesson is just one of those bands that you must listen and discover for yourself as we have with their rather unique videos to their rather thought provoking music, and we’re not saying that because we’re some sort of hipster/trendy blog shite, this is musical food for real music fans to digest.

At last count we got to talk to Keyboardist/moog Mistress Jaylinn Davidson on our last interview, so what better way to spice up our revisit interview by talking to the resilient lead singer/Guitarist Paul Waclawsky as he discusses the now downsized Duo on their various exploits including talks of a new album and their current one 'Fur State'.

Hello Paul Waclawsky, thanks for doing this revisited interview with Nerdy Frames so lets start with how ya been and what ya been up to as of late?

Doing well, thanks for asking. We've had a very creative year and experimented with a lot of music. This summer we recorded a full length album entitled "Possibilities" with producer Chris "Frenchie" Smith at the Bubble here in Austin, TX. That rock album will be released next year. Recently, we've been super busy rediscovering and preparing our lo-fi instrumental album, Fur State, for release.

So The Boxing Lesson is based in Austin, Texas. How would you describe life in Austin?

Austin is a beautiful city to live in and I'm proud to call it my home. Each part of town has a different feel and its own appeal. The presence of the SXSW, ACL and Fun Fun Fun Fest keep things musically progressive and the Mexican food is the best I've ever had. I don't plan on moving from here anytime soon!

How are things in the band so far since we last talked to ya?

Ups and downs for a while and now mostly ups. As you know, we lost our longtime friend and drummer, Jake Mitchell, when he went to prison in 2008. Jaylinn and I did a few tours as a two-piece playing over droney drum machine beats for a bit while we sketched out the songs that would become the album Possibilities. We've had a few drummers come and go over the past two years. Our manager, Ryan Cano (The Loyalty Firm), stepped in and recorded a majority of the drum parts on Possibilities. This was the year that he went well above and beyond his management duties!

Hey Paul since we talked to Jaylinn the last time, tell us a little something about yourself?

I've been getting into meditation this year and trying to learn how to calm down my overactive mind. Recently, I've been jamming the blues a lot. I'm way into Peter Green and his old Fleetwood Mac stuff right now. I'm also pretty obsessed with cats, especially tigers. Oh, and I find vacuum tubes absolutely fascinating.

Looking back at our interview there are some questions that we left out such as this one, how do you guys come up with the concepts for the music of The Boxing Lesson?

We create songs that attempt to capture a certain mood we are feeling with rhythm, chords and melody at first. We then go back and tweak the song concept and lyrics over these instrumental passages. I hear a lot of songs in my head in the early morning and usually will just run to the piano or a guitar and find the notes and chord changes and file them in my brain for a later time.

How about with regards to vocals, do some of the vocals on your tracks hold some meaning personally?

They all have personal meaning. The lyrics have always been a document of this band's life in one way or another. It's refreshing for us to release our first instrumental album that tells as much of a story without words than we can sometimes muster up with lyrical verses, choruses and bridges.

I’ve covered some of the studio setup with Jaylinn, but collectively what equipment or gear do you use to make your music? Do you have your own studio setup or do you tend to go to other studios to get the mastering done?

We have our own rehearsal space where we can demo stuff but when it comes to making a real album we prefer to head into a studio with an engineer. You want to talk guitar gear?? I play an old red Fender Jazzmaster, a gorgeous old Super Reverb amp, an original Roland Space Echo tape delay, Mutron Bi-Phase, MXR Dynacomp, an original Ram's head Big Muff, Menatone King of Brits, Zvex Super Hard-on, an original Vox Clyde McCoy wah wah, Boomerang looper, Boss loop station, one of those new Boss space echo pedals, vintage ADA flanger, and a 4ms Triwave Picogenerator, in no particular order. I use the Space Echo as a 3 channel mixer to mix my guitar tone, noise samples and triwave oscillations through the tape and out through my amp.

You’re now - Nerdy Frames NZ

"Video: The Boxing Lesson - “One”"

You know how two people can listen to the same song and come away with two completely different impressions of it? It seems that this is especially true of instrumental music, just because there are words to hang your hat on and it just seems more naturally affective. But wow, we really have to say that Jeanne Hospod nailed our impression of the lead track for the Boxing Lesson’s new Fur State so precisely that it’s downright eerie! Tentacled dreamscape? Check! Ghost sperm? Check! Cats in a Topo Chico box! Triple check! Hospod, get out of our heads! So yeah, here is the first video for Fur State, an album that Paul Waclawsky and Jaylinn Davidson actually recorded back in 2004 when they first moved to Austin. It’s a bit different from the more full on psyched-out sound they’ve come to be known for since, but for being recorded in lo-fi mode on a 4-track, it’s also a nicely textured instrumental effort. There are no titles for the eight songs on the album, which might become somewhat awkward when fans start yelling for “Five!” at their shows. Perhaps we shall find out at the release party tonight at the Side Bar, which oddly enough the band does not seem to be actually playing, but rather having DJ Czech One simply spin the album? Weird, but ok. Listeners will also have a chance to hear some of the new tunes that the Boxing Lesson has been working on and that will manifest sometime next year on their upcoming album Possibilities. And oh, it’s a Halloween costume party, so be prepared! Here are some costume suggestions if you need them. Check out the video below: - Austin Sound

"Video: The Boxing Lesson - One"

Video: The Boxing Lesson “One”

Noise psych rockers The Boxing Lesson recently dropped an album showing a bit more of their quieter, softer, lo-fi side. Recorded on a 4-track, the record is all instrumental, melodic, and getting the band some well deserved attention. Fur State is out now, and if I’m not mistaken might even be available in cassette form. All the cool kids are doing it, I hear.

Check out the video for the track “One”.. - Sonic Itch Music

"The Boxnig Lesson - Fur State"

The Boxing Lesson’s back with a tiny, sweetly raw psychedelic masterpiece: a gritty lo-fi acoustic/electronic instrumental album recorded on a 4-track cassette recorder.
Paul Waclawsky and Jaylinn Davidson put down their microphones respectively on Fur State to give us a more warming reception with beautiful instrumentation and a great ethos in the thought department with regards to the music. Moogs from Jaylinn Davidson are beautifully interwoven with Paul’s sometime acoustic/electric guitar playing with an equal amount of ambient noise and feedback to balance it out. - Radio Spin

"Fur State by The Boxing Lesson: A Perfect Instrumental Composition!"

Friday, October 15, 2010
Fur State by The Boxing Lesson: A Perfect Instrumental Composition!
I just got to listen to a Duo band, called "The Boxing Lesson"(they don't give Boxing Lessons ! ), who have released an instrumental album, "Fur State", and trust me guys, These guys were AWESOME !

Fur State Cover Art

The Boxing Lesson has :

Paul Waclawsky - acoustic guitar, synthesizers, drum loops
Jaylinn Davidson - synthesizers, field recordings

All the instrumentals in the album are so well composed,versatile and very interesting indeed !

The album began with a song titled "One", and though I won't say that it was a unique sound, but definitely, there is something that attracts the audience till the end. I was actually searching for a particular point where I could stop playing the track. But I felt like their music was dealing with a story,which made made me connect with your song and hear it till the end!

The next track , Two, had a beautiful beginning ! Generally speaking, I prefer short instrumentals and this was a perfect piece. It was simple and short. Many musicians have a psych of including a hell lot of creativities in a short track. But here I felt something different!

"Three" made me dance right up ! Great intro ! Good arrangement of the synths. Really nice stuff! Creativity is present in each song of this album. Not too long and not too short !

"Four" was a decent track, not that attractive as compared to other tracks of this album. Still, it was a nice,soft piece of music.

The next track, "Five" was different from the other tracks, but still it felt as if all songs of this album are interconnected ! A storyline was maintained. It was like: If a single track is excluded from this album, then it would seem incomplete ! The Continuity will be lost !

Moving on, "Six" was TOO GOOD ! This sound can give you a sensational feeling! The blend of the acoustic guitar and the synth had brought a real charm into it, which is though, really hard to describe but quite easy to be felt and connect with!

I found "Seven" to be a bit boring, though I was eager to listen to a long instrumental from this band. It could have been a bit more interesting ! The album ended well with "Eight", their last track.

Overall, This Duo is Great ! No criticism at all guys ! The album is definitely worth a buy ! Though It would have been much better if they could have given some names to their tracks, as I felt like all the tracks were interconnected, so some prominent names could have made this album a perfect storyline !

To know more about the band, Click Here!
- Bearockr IN

"Piece of Boxing Lesson History: Fur State"

The long-ago recorded album Fur State (created 2004) by the haunting psychedelic electronica wizards The Boxing Lesson is due to officially drop today. In some senses this makes Paul Waclawsky our own resident Axl Rose, although actually not at all, since the band released Wild Streaks and Windy Days and Songs in the Key of C in the lengthy interim. So this makes him instead our resident Paul Waclawsky, and his bandmate still our resident Jaylinn Davidson, and the band remains the inimitable Boxing Lesson, and the two of them, as recent poll winners, reside atop our website with mushrooms in attendance, making us for today a very Boxing Lesson-centric site.

Costume + listening party for Fur State is coming up at the Side Bar (602 E. 7th) this Thursday, 10/28. - Deli Magazine

"Wednesday Rewind: The Boxing Lesson - One"

The Boxing Lesson, "One"
We knew the Boxing Lesson likes to get high, but this Jeanne Hospod-animated "lo-fi cat dreamscape" video takes matters to another level. The band's excellent, cassette-only release, which has been in OTR's tape deck for weeks, is available now here. - Austin Chronicle

"Fur State Review"

On October 26th, The Boxing Lesson released their newest LP "Fur State". The album was recorded back in 2004 on a 4-track cassette and later mastered and restored by Danny Reisch. Each track is titled after the number it corresponds with on the album listing and the title itself is a play on words (First Eight). The album itself is pretty lofi and a setup of acoustic guitar, drums (some live some looped), occasional bass, and synth. At times the synth gets to be a bit overbearing but I think that is partly due to the leveling when the LP was initially recorded. So how does one classify The Boxing Lesson with their setup? Folk-Psych? Moog-Dub? Lo-fi shoegaze? They are very unique in how they produce sprawling soundscapes with the non-traditional setup. Usually a band that falls into this psych lo-fi category would make large use of electric guitars and tons of effect pedals. The Boxing Lesson is very minimal in this respect. They do more with less. "Fur State" is definitely worth a listen and is the perfect mood music for a nice Michigan fall drive. For digital purchase or a limited edition Orange Cassette, visit The Boxing Lesson's Bandcamp.
-jr - Motor City Blog

"The Boxing Lesson - Fur State"

The Boxing Lesson is Waclawsky (acoustic guitar, synthesizers, drum loops) and Jaylinn Davidson (synthesizer and field recordings). From just that you can tell they are going to be some sort of experimental band. That’s what you get in their latest album Fur State. The tracks don’t have specific names and are named after their track number 1-8. The entire album was recored on a 4-track casette recorder. The result was an album full of imagination and whimsical sounds. In an age where music videos ruin our imagination of music, The Boxing Lesson does a great job of telling a story through just sounds. - Ride the Tempo


Thursday, October 28, 2010
Fur State
The Boxing Lesson

Best-laid plans, right? I wasn't planning on doing a writeup of the new release by The Boxing Lesson; I'm a bit snowed under with all of the Halloween and Fun Fun Fun Fest activity streaming to my inbox. It's not as if the band is unworthy of my attention, but unlike most other unsigned new music acts in Austin they have dedicated and professional management (The Loyalty Firm) and they're getting their fair share of coverage for Fur State.

But then I sat down and listened to the album! I haven't been much drawn in by the Boxing Lesson's more extroverted, vocal-driven songs. There's a lot of anonymous-sounding, producer-driven rock in Austin (and everywhere) and what I've heard of later Boxing Lesson releases doesn't do a ton to separate itself from Beautiful Supermachines, Baby Robots, TV Torso, or a kajillion others. The only thing that really stood out to me about them was a negative... annoying vocals. Fur State is a completely different animal. All-instrumental, it was recorded during the duo's first months in Austin with a cadged-together roster of equipment. It was recorded on and mastered to cassette tape, and has a warm running buzz that's only one of its atypical qualities.

If you've paged through a Demo Sweat column or two you may know that I have a built-up resistance to fiddly, ambient bedroom-type recordings. My usual response to music of this type is to feel that if the musician hardly expended any effort making it, why should I care listening to it? I like bands and arrangements and interaction between instruments, not layers and layers of repeating loops. Fur State dramatically improves on the clichés rampant in these sorts of projects. Other than the torpid "Six" each of these tracks is compelling and distinctive. The tunes develop, with certain instrumental tones being phased out and others taking their place. I didn't find my attention wavering at any moment listening to most of these pieces, which sound far more like finished songs than I was given to expect. There's a flat-out rocker in "Three," and the dance-inflected "Five," with its beautiful guitar tone, is reminiscent of The Sea and Cake at their lazy-Sunday best. In the context of all of the other highly engaging tracks, the spooky audio collage "Seven" strikes the ear just right even though it's essentially ten minutes of voicemail messages.

What really sets this album apart is how each number sounds like a performance. The guitar and keyboard parts consistently last for just the right amount of time, and they also have movement within themselves -- each figure doesn't sound spat out of a computer but rather played by a human. It's not just intriguing listening to how all of the lean melodies stack up over one another, but how tiny little embellishments are made within them. The compositions draw you in in a way most music of this sort never does, and that's no small accomplishment. I really feel like there's more to listen to and discover in these songs even after repeated spins. Fur State is so good that it makes me rethink my whole position on The Boxing Lesson -- obviously I need to go back and listen to their more recently recorded stuff more carefully. And with headphones on.

The Boxing Lesson are having a costume listening party for Fur State tonight at the Side Bar, including a sneak preview of their upcoming studio album Possibilities. Check it out, and perhaps pick up the ultra-limited edition version of Fur State that comes with a "herb" grinder. That's some apropos marketing! - Big Western Flavor

"The Incredible Story of Fur State by The Boxing Lesson"

Interview a band about the recording process on their new album and you’ll hear the same shit over and over. Either they went for a grander production on the album with a big producer they can’t wait to name drop, or they insist they aren’t selling out and are going for a new direction, yadda yadda yadda who cares. Completely different story when I interviewed The Boxing Lesson’s Paul Waaclawsky and Jaylinn Davidson by the side of my car last week*. The story of their new album captivated me so much, that when anyone asks me what I’ve been up to this week, first I talk about Halloween, then I tell the story of Fur State. It’s scary good.

In 2004, The Boxing Lesson recorded an album** that they never intended on releasing. The album is full of dreamy synthesizers, acoustic guitar, drum loops and bizarre ”field recordings,” left vocal-free despite having lyrics and song titles for all songs. It was mixed on cassette for Paul and Jaylinn to take psychadelics, trip out and just blast it for their own enjoyment when no other music was deemed suitable. They listened to it non-stop for months and then hid the tape away in a closet for six years, afraid to ruin the only copy of the master tape. In August of this year, Paul was listening to Ariel Pink and thought “Wait a minute, I’ve made this album,” dug out the tape and was crushed to find it unplayable. He texted Jaylinn “OMG the tape is broken. I’m devastated!”
furstatecover 300x286 The Incredible Story of Fur State by The Boxing Lesson

Fur State is a pun on the fact that it's the "First Eight" songs they recorded for the album. The songs are titled "One," through "Eight."

The Boxing Lesson wasn’t going to give up on their damaged baby that easily. They brought it to their friend Danny Reisch (a producer who has worked with White Demin among many others) and he performed surgery on the tape, moved the housing, used a pro tape deck and pro tools and brought Fur State back to life. What they unearthed was a gem. The first comparison I made while listening was Radiohead’s In Rainbows. High praise, I know, but the mix of drum machines, soft acoustic guitars, etheral dreamyness and synths draw comparisons. I asked Paul and Jaylinn what they thought it sounded like and they sighed emphatically in unison. It’s hard to say what you think your own album sounds like, but Paul said he did enjoy being able to listen to it fresh six years after the fact, which is so rare for a band who’s usually so deeply involved in recording that they can’t separate themselves from the process they’re already wrapped up in. They mention Brian Eno and Pink Floyd, Ariel Pink and a little bit of Wavves. Again, all good company. The Brian Eno held the most water for me. Listen to the album as you’re falling asleep with the window open*** and let it wash over you.

The first words of the album come on the wild track, “Seven,” which features a number of voicemails and field recordings from 2004 when the band was in LA and had “dropped off” and their friends and family were trying to get ahold of them. At the time, Jaylinn was into recording everything going on around her. Conversations on the street, oddballs she ran into, a neighbor who vaccumed incessantly in the morning, voicemails from friends. They created a collage of the madness that surrounded them.**** It’s a beautiful portrait of the band at the time when they were writing songs in hotel rooms and dropping out of society.

If you’ve heard The Boxing Lesson, you will be shocked by this album. You’ll definitely notice the gorgeous signature outer space synth sounds Jaylinn is known for, but without Paul’s usual driving rock voice and guitar, it’s a true departure for the band, but fans who love the sound they know should have no fears. I’ve focused entirely on Fur State, but The Boxing Lesson also finished up a new album, Possibilities, slated for a 2011 release and it will sound far more like The Boxing Lesson you’re used to. They’ll be previewing it at their release party on Thursday as well (RSVP for the Release party on Facebook)

*We decided to meet at a coffee shop right next to where the Austin Film Festival was going on, so after 20 minutes of driving around aimlessly looking for parking, I parked illegally and we did the interview leaned up against my car so I wouldn’t get towed.

**They recorded it in their apartment on pawnshop-purchased instruments after getting robbed of all their possessions in LA.

***I’d recommend listening to all of Eno’s ambient music like this.

****It’s a lot like Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels. Check that out if you don’t know it and you’re into Ringo, Keith Moon and weird Zappa stuff.
- Festival Crashers

"Navdo goes a few rounds with The Boxing Lesson"

A few months ago I got a chance to talk to The Boxing Lesson a Psychedelic Rock band from Austin, Texas about the making of their next record Possibilities!

"Cassiopeia / Rings of Saturn" - The Boxing Lesson (MCB Exclusive)

"Dark Side Of The Moog" - Wild Streaks & Windy Days (2008)

"Brighter" - Wild Streaks & Windy Days (2008)

(click on album title to order from iTunes)
2010: Possibilities
2008: Wild Streaks & Windy Days
2006: Songs in the Key of C
2004: Radiation
2003: The Boxing Lesson EP

Facebook: The Boxing Lesson
Twitter : @theBoxingLesson

- Motor City Blog

"The Boxing Lesson at Emo's"

I went to Emo's recently to catch The Boxing Lesson, a spacey/dancey indie band that I hadn't seen play in ages. They added a new drummer, wrote a bunch of new songs and recorded a new album since I last saw them play. The band, known for its covers of Jefferson Airplane and Devendra Banhart songs, has also learned a new cover: "House of the Rising Sun." You can watch that video here. Their next show is at Mohawk on May 18 opening for Montreal's The Besnard Lakes.

View more photos from this show on Facebook. - 'Nites ATX

"Live Review from Spaceland (LA)"

The Boxing Lesson came to Spaceland from Austin, TX sans their original drummer who, according to the band's singer, couldn't leave the state due to some marijuana-related charges. The self-described "space rock" trio ran the gamut of intelligent rock genres throughout the course of their quite likable forty minute set, deploying textures of psych, prog, shoegaze, and even a few art rock accents tossed-in for good measure.

Synthlordress Jaylinn Davidson had a console rig that would make HAL envious, but it was her Texas-twang backing vocals that first caused me to see that this band was not simply more of the same. Also of note were singer / guitarist Paul Waclawsky's lead vocals which were clear, audible, and mixed-up over the instrumental rockscapes. How refreshing, a psych-rock act whose lyrics can be understood!

The sum total of The Boxing Lesson's opening set was easily digestible thinking-man's rock for the novice. That's not meant as a put-down. Pretension was absent, making a band unfamiliar to me easy to enjoy. If you're trying to get your friend to put-down that Spoon disc and move-on to something of a little more substance, The Boxing Lesson would be a good start. Ya'll come back now, ya hear? - Classical Geek Theatre

"Interview with Paul Waclawsky of The Boxing Lesson"

American space-rock band The Boxing Lesson have been a favourite here at Halo-17 for many years, so it was a pleasure to finally sit down with the band's frontman Paul Waclawsky for a brief chat about their latest album "Wild Streaks & Windy Days", the pros and cons of Moog synthesisers, and the recent arrest and incarceration of the band's drummer on drug charges.

Halo-17's Craig Franklin (CF): Firstly, it seems that Wild Streaks & Windy Days has gotten a lot of good press since its release, are you happy with the way it's turned out?

Paul Waclawsky (PW): Yeah, Wild Streaks has gotten a lot of press since its release six months ago. We put a lot more time and money into it than the other past three TBL releases. We have two exciting videos coming out this fall: a futuristic monster animated video for Dark Side of the Moog and a stop motion photography video shot at night in a graveyard for Brighter. I'm very happy with the way the album sounds and how well our promotions are going at this point.

CF: How have crowds at the live shows taken to the new material? Are there any songs in particular that are becoming fan favourites, do you think?

PW: The crowds have responded very well to the songs from the new album. We fleshed out these songs extensively at live shows before recording them and they all really seem to flow together nicely and hit very hard in a live setting. Many of them were part of the batch of songs that became Songs in the Key of C so they've been around for a few years and have had many incarnations. Lower seems to go over very well live, as does Dark Side of the Moog, Muerta, and Wild Streaks & Windy Days.

CF: For fans that haven't seen The Boxing Lesson live, what can they expect when they come to one of your shows?

PW: For a three-piece band, we make a lot of sound. Expect for us to be loud. We are an unconventional three piece band since our bass player is our synth player. Jaylinn actually plays four separate synths at once, performing all the synth parts and bass lines in real time. We don't play along with anything pre-recorded. On stage, The Boxing Lesson alternates between faster noisy songs and the slow clean trippy ones to balance out the live experience. As much as we like to shoegaze, we equally like to get intense and we definitely push a lot of sound frequencies with the guitar amp and all those synths screaming loud onstage.

CF: A big part of the sound on Wild Streaks & Windy Days is the Moog synth - was it a conscious decision on your part to use it so extensively in the place of more traditional rock instruments, or did it just happen?

PW: I started getting into Moog synths back in Los Angeles and shared my enthusiasm with Jaylinn when we moved to Austin together. It was a natural progression for us to focus on the synthesizer more extensively because were becoming more and more obsessed with filters and oscillators. We explored a lot of synthesizers and ended up getting a Moog Voyager for the band. It has so much personality and tone and if we didn't have it at a show, it would be just as catastrophic as a missing guitar or drums.

CF: In the studio, how much of the band's output is Paul Waclawsky, and how much is contributed by the other members?

PW: The Boxing Lesson is a band but the songwriting basically comes out of me. I'm a believer in the magic of collaboration and I bring skeleton song ideas to the band to flesh out together. This is the process that separates solo artists from bands in my mind. What you are hearing on Wild Streaks & Windy Days is very similar to what we sound like live. All the synth sounds, bass lines and background vocals were recorded by Jaylinn, all the drums were recorded by Jake, and all the guitars and lead vocals were recorded by me. This lineup is pretty simplistic. All three of us had a say in the final arrangement and instrumentation of the songs, and even as far as the lyrics go, we all contributed.

CF: Looking back at the band's first two EPs (the self-titled one and "Radiation"), what do you think of them now? Would you approach these two records differently if you were making them now?

PW: I still really enjoy The Boxing Lesson and Radiation. They transport me back to a different life of mine as a songwriter. For that small sliver of time, we had a great band and I'm happy that we got to document that sound on those recordings. Both those albums together were the live club set at that time. There was a lot of tension in that band due to major personality conflicts. It's a miracle that Comfortable even made the record. I had written that song about a week or two before we entered the studio to start Radiation and there was a heated band debate on whether or not to include that song on the recording at all. One member was so against it that he refused to play on the track. Looking back, I'm so happy it made it on there. I still think it's one of the better songs that I wrote in LA. I can't even t - Halo-17 Australia

"New Band Cheer: The Boxing Lesson"

If you've lived in Austin for any time at all you've probably at least heard of the Boxing Lesson, even if you haven't heard their music directly. I moved here five years ago and in that time I've seen them all over the place, on every flyer on every bulletin board in town. Of course, this is not without just cause, as they're one of the most exciting and innovative Austin acts that the capital city has to offer. With a sound that's equal parts electronica-tinged atmospherics and chugging, psychedelic indie rock, the band has honed a unique sound over the years that coalesces perfectly on their new CD Wild Streaks & Windy Days. They're playing tomorrow with Tokyo Police Club and the Whigs at Emo's so be sure and check them out. We'll be keeping track of these guys from now on! - Cannibal Cheerleader

"The Boxing Lesson (UK press)"

I've got plenty of time for anything musical that comes out of Austin, Texas, mainly because I associate that hotbed of creativity, with the greatest rock album ever released (possibly) Yup, I'm talking about - 'The Psychedelic Sounds Of' 13th Floor Elevators

Austin's The Boxing Lesson have picked up the baton of psych-rock and are producing their own brand of post-rock that shimmys, and soars in epic dramatic spacey tracks but they also chug away like a garage band inspired by The Stooges at times.

The group started out as guitarist/vocalist Paul Waclawsky's baby, he released two E.P's in 2003/4, whilst residing in L.A. He made the move to Austin and teamed up with Jaylinn Davidson (keyboards) and Jake Mitchell (drums). Another mini album called 'Songs in the Key of C' followed in 2006. In 2007 they hooked up with Grammy-Nominated Producer Tim Gerron to craft current album "Wild Streaks & Windy Days" You get the feeling the wind has got into their sails now and they're set to head for clear blue waters, at a fair rate of knots.

Secret Machines, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and Flaming Lips are some of the obvious reference points but I'm immediately drawn to a comparison with one of the music industries best kept secrets, The Porcupine Tree, who have been producing exquisite prog/post rock for two decades. It's a mystery why they aren't huge, the quality of their output is consistently astonishing and they have a feverishly loyal fan base. I can only hope our Boxers don't get sidelined in a similar fashion, by trend obsessed mainstream press, as the latest 'Wild Streaks' album has some sublime moments.

The twelve tracks have two distinct personalities, with the Windy Days title track, Hopscotch & Sodapop, Lower, Dark Side Of The Moog and for me the stand out song Muerta, falling into the dreamy, languid epic vibe. Then there's the grungier numbers, like Freedom, Hanging With The Wrong Crowd, Back From The Dead and Dance with Meow, which provide the collection with some oomph, balancing out the space cadet half. These two songwriting strains are well matched, serving up a well balanced contest, that goes the full distance.

- Scratchy Buckles (UK)

"Dark Side of the Moog"


The Boxing Lesson - "Dark Side of the Moog"
By John Michael Cassetta • Jul 18th, 2008 • Category: Featured Post, Music, The Daily Dic

Austin's The Boxing Lesson are playing tonight at 101X's "The Next Big Thing" at Emo's (see the poster below), and if you're up for a little space-y rock music, this show might be the one for you.

The Boxing Lesson's new album Wild Streaks & Windy Days has been earning the band a lot of Pink Floyd comparisons, some of which are justified by the indulgent use of synthesizers and reverb, but for all the space-rock cliches this band lives up to, they seem to be having fun for every second of it. The band themselves describe the album as "It's definitely psychedelic, but not in the traditional sense. Part organic. Part electronic. Part outer fucking space." Did you hear that? Outer Fucking Space.

The album was produced by Grammy-Nominated Producer Tim Gerron (Lick Lick, Seth Walker, etc.), and it sounds phenomenal. The band take the huge 'space' that Gerron creates for them and fill it up to the brim with howling Moogs, wailing guitars, soaring synths, and all those other "gerund-instrument" cliches you can come up with. Of course, the band couldn't be having that kind of fun if the whole album wasn't backed up by solid songwriting.

Have a listen to track one off the album "Dark Side of the Moog," and then head out to the show tonight at Emo's. - Big Diction

"The Boxing Lesson: Wild Streaks & Windy Days"

The Boxing Lesson: Wild Streaks and Windy Days
5th June 2008

I once found myself the pained victim of a “Punk Rock Charity Event” at an established venue in lovely Tampa, FL. Washing down a basket of blazing hot hush puppies with many gulps of Guinness, my friend, a very wise man and professor of good taste, warned me of the agonies that awaited as a 7-piece band crowded the stage with Wurlizters, triangles, musical saws, synths, dobros, guitars, bicycle bells, bass, drums, and, yes–an Electro-Theremin (No, I am not shitting you.) “I am of the opinion that a four-piece band is one piece too many,” he said, a less-is-more aesthetic philosophy proven true by bands like The Gossip, The Black Keys, The White Stripes, and, as you’ll see below, a band called The Boxing Lesson. He was right, of course: the band sounded like the musical equivalent of gastroenteritis.

I promptly began scrolling the venue for the nearest emergency exit to no avail, gripping a beer with one hand and holding my head together with the other in full anticipation that it would split in three any minute. I somehow made it through the evening, but not without fleeing home to a stack of early Stones albums in the hope that they would make the world comprehensible to me once again. So imagine my euphoria upon discovering a band that relishes the deceptively boundless possibilities inherent in the three-piece concept. An up-and-coming threesome out of Austin, Texas, The Boxing Lesson betray a rather thinly veiled affinity for Pink Floyd on their new LP, Wild Streaks and Windy Days; but they roughen the edges of that influence with an open-armed embrace of Spacemen 3, The Cure, Radiohead and Broken Social Scene.

Little is left to the imagination when an album opens with a title like “Dark Side of the Moog“–just in case you questioned the veracity of comparisons to Pink Floyd–a smoking-hot and brooding intro to the brand of neo-psychedelic space rock they so proudly peddle (what the fuck is a “moog,” you’re asking–OK. Here.) “Lead Boxer, Paul Waclawsky, flexes his songwriting muscles and his space echoes like never before on this ageless recording inspired by the Austin indie music scene and radio transmissions from outer space,” they explain (in keeping with the theme, the static of those “transmissions” is heard in the fade of “Dark Side”–these guys are on top of things.) “Paul’s voice shows maturity and his epic sonic guitar textures are psychedelic and lush, like Cassiopeia A, the birthplace of the stars,” they continue. Even between the lines of the band’s own copy, you can hear vague echoes of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” Consider their influences established.

And they’re not kidding–the trippy title track, which evokes vivid memories of waiting in line for another ride on Disney’s Space Mountain–really does give you the feeling that you’ve just been strapped to a rocket and sent through the sky to probe some intergalactic snowstorm. Gushing with synths that leave you wondering if this is the lost Part 10 of Floyd’s epic “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” the song undulates through some zero-gravity dream in a shining silver space suit while sending transmissions to rumored lifeforms on the 57th moon of Saturn. Paul Waclawsky–self-described “songwriter and astronaut”–lends his feathery vocals to cloak the tune in a distinctly airy robe of sound, a gorgeous contrast to the feedback-laden pop mastery of other tracks like the chiseled “Brighter“–the easiest pick for a summer road trip mix that we’ve heard all year.

As if any further proof was needed, Wild Streaks and Windy Days confirms once again that to label a band is to kill a band. It is too easy to dismiss The Boxing Lesson as a post-punk new wave act and move blithely on to your next victim. But as Whoopsy Magazine puts it, “there’s a lot more going on here . . . catchy backing vocals, surreal lyrics, and a modern pop sensibility stand out the most.” But The Boxing Lesson aren’t just another upstart “indie” band pushing the praise of rags called “Whoopsy.” The Onion calls them “a hard-charging trio,” and The Austin Chronicle praises them for “opening a Pandora’s box of psychedelia.” The Boxing Lesson take us somewhere genuinely new with Wild Streaks and Windy Days; and if they have to fumble through a jewel chest of prior eras to get there, they never look back so long as to undermine a vision of their own. - Culturespill

"The Boxing Lesson played to a packed Emo's Lounge""

"The Boxing Lesson played to a packed Emo's Lounge....There's just
something about three piece bands that I can't get enough of. I really
like that three musicians can do what takes some bands 5 or more to
do. And Austin's The Boxing Lesson is no exception. With Paul
Waclawsky on guitar and vox, Jaylinn Davidson on synthesizers, and
Jake Mitchell on drums and rocking out samples (Wu-tang?), you get a
blend of three distinct sounds that sound like the bastard child of
David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Broken Social Scene and Ween?. if thats even
freaking possible. The Boxing Lesson closed their set with a song
called "Muerta," which they will release a new music video for in
about a month. Paul Waclawsky uses slide guitar to make this song
really dark and gloomy. If you didn't know any better you could find
it on a Pink Floyd album. Not Syd Barett Floyd, more David Gilmour
Floyd-esque if you will.... I'm looking forward to see what direction
they go in the future." Burn.TV Blog
- Burn.TV Blog

"Wild Streaks & Windy Days"

Wild Streaks & Windy Days
The Boxing Lesson
Big Bigness, 2008
REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

With an opening track titled "Dark Side Of The Moog," one would expect this to be another prog-rock wannabe band that relies on the sounds pioneered by true musicians. Fortunately, The Boxing Lesson is not such a band.
This is the first full-length by the band, following five years of existence and three EPs. It clocks at more than an hour, a dense and sonically rewarding disc that calls to mind Floyd, Tool and an current emo band you'd care to name.
That's right, The Boxing Lesson is at heart a psychedelic emo band in love with The Wall and The Cure's Disintegration. "Hopscotch & Sodapop" sounds like a pop song from that latter band, actually, but it's not representative of what's here, kind of like how "Lovesong" didn't really fit Disintegration.
Lest you think the album is all brooding guitar lines and synth flourishes, "Hanging With The Wrong Crowd" is a fun little number with an all-over-the-map bassline and Casio keyboard-like drums supporting samples of space beeps and whatnot. However, the song gives way to a standard rock song halfway through ("She's a sex assassin"…sounds like Spinal Tap), albeit an off-kilter upbeat rock song.
The pieces here are long, wavering from the moody "Muerta" to the ballad "Scoundrel" and the rocker "Freedom," which would have been a big hit in 1974 and still should be today. "
The trio makes a couple of missteps – "Timing" plods along and "Lower," while good, is far too long for what it offers – but then something like "The Art Of Pushing Me Away" comes along and redeems the disc. It would be a head trip to see these guys live (two guys and a girl, actually), as the music would swirl and fill up a spacious stadium or club.
As "Dark Side" started the disc with a good capsule of what the band is about, the title track says a gorgeous goodbye. It is here the band sounds more like Pink Floyd and less like themselves, at least in the first few minutes, but where that band could be menacing in its slower passages, singer/guitarist Paul Waclawsky is inviting and sad. Still, having heard enough progressive rock means one knows where the song is heading…the instruments build in volume and intensity and, finally, the piece fades out on a couple synth notes.
So there is a little bit of "been there" throughout, but The Boxing Lesson has mined an interesting territory here, and anyone who likes progressive rock and shoegazer pop/emo will find the two a natural combination. Not everything works, but what does makes this one of the more interesting releases of the year.
- Daily Vault

"Space Age Knockout"

The Boxing Lesson

Sounds Like: A psychedelic blend of Angels & Airwaves and The Mars Volta

Albums: "The Boxing Lesson EP" (2003), "Radiation" (2004), "Songs In The Key Of C" (2006) and "Wild Streaks & Windy Days" (2008)

Paul Waclawsky is not of this planet. In fact, the lead singer and guitarist for Austin, Texas-based band, The Boxing Lesson, may not even be of this galaxy. Maybe it's his band's outer space sound or their cosmos-exploring background?

Or maybe it's because a three-person band was able to deliver a hell of an album that would require twice as many musicians in any other band? Now we're on to something.

While comparisons can be drawn to many big name, mainstream talent, The Boxing Lesson, which includes Jaylinn Davidson on the synth and backup vocals and Jake Mitchell on the drums, have come from the great void to thrive on Austin's indie roots and deliver "Wild Streaks & Windy Days," one journey of an album that unfolds like a dream.

What's most surprising about The Boxing Lesson is their ability to never really stay on one track – over the course of the 12 songs, they change styles and sounds again and again – and for three people, this is no small feat.

The album has fun when it needs to have fun (the synthy-pop tune "Brighter" and the quirky "Dance With Meow"), gets mellow at all the right times (like they're tribute to early musical synth, "Dark Side Of The Moog") but also knows when to get down and dirty like on the track "Freedom." The melding of what sounds like a blaring siren over a punk-pop riff with Davidson piping "No! No! No! No!" in the background, smooth vocals from Waclawsky and a rollercoastering synth melody really come together for a head-bobbing song that channels a bit of Pearl Jam's "Life Wasted."

The band really shines on "Muerta" and "Timing." The first is a spacey, trip that sounds like "Hotel California" crossed with The Mars Volta's "The Widow," and the latter has Waclawsky doing his best Chris Martin impression. Both are mellow and hollow in a beautiful way.

While some tracks run a bit long (looking at you "Scoundrel" and "Lower"), the whole thing is really an out of body experience as you're beamed up into the unknown through your speakers. The Boxing Lesson prove that while similarities can be drawn to other bands, when it comes down to it they are The Boxing Lesson and no one else. Let's just hope they don't forget their Moog.

Check Out: "Freedom," "Muerta," "Timing"

Rating For "Wild Streaks & Windy Days": 3.5/5
Posted by Stephen Ortiz at 9:00 AM - The Playlist (UConn)

"Wild Streaks & Windy Days Australian Review"

The Boxing Lesson - Wild Streaks & Windy Days
[Self-Released, 2008]
Genre/Rock, Genre/Indie, Genre/Progressive, Tone/Psychedelic, Tone/Space, Tone/Ethereal
Not enough bands make music like The Boxing Lesson any more. Over the course of three EPs, they've managed to create some truly breathtaking and epic music that draw the dots between such seemingly disparate bands as Pink Floyd, My Bloody Valentine and David Bowie. They're equally at home writing short, concise pop songs, and kicking out the jams. They use a Moog synth extensively. In short, unlike a lot of bands, they're consistently interesting.

"Wild Streaks & Windy Days" is the first full-length album from the band, and the second release from the current lineup, following on from their somewhat disappointing "Songs in the Key of C" EP from a couple of years ago. The band has shown considerable growth since then, and these songs are a lot fuller, more textured, and generally better developed than the often underdone tunes from their last effort.

The opening track, Dark Side of the Moog epitomises this new approach of fully fleshed out songs. With a title like that, the Pink Floyd comparisons are inevitable, but there is also a fair bit of The Smashing Pumpkins mixed up in here as well, particularly with the swirling guitar sound that would make this song sound not out of place on "Mellon-Collie and the Infinite Sadness." Vocalist Paul Waclawsky is a better singer than both Billy Corgan and Roger Waters though, and he's content here to let his words be semi-buried underneath a lush layer of shimmering psychedelic noise.

Later songs on the album chart a similarly bombastic, psychedelic course. Hanging With The Wrong Crowd brings out the tinny sounding Casio synths before exploding into a lush Moog-dominated soundscape. With that said, this song also shows off Waclawsky's propensity for sophomoric lyrics - lines like "You've been seen/In a limousine/You've been seen/It makes me want to scream/You're obscene/You've been all through my dreams" are not going to win any poetry competitions anytime soon.

Despite the lyrical weakness in some songs, this is still an impressive and energetic album. Freedom, towards the end of the album, with its feedback that sounds oddly like a police siren, and shouted out choruses is a particularly cool song, as is the album closer and title track, which mixes atmospheric background synth with a gently strummed guitar for an epic, yet laid back ending to the album.

"Wild Streaks & Windy Days" keeps up The Boxing Lesson's habit of making music that's interesting, atmospheric, and extremely ambitious. Making a full length album of this quality is an impressive step forward for the band, and I can't wait to hear what they come up with next.
- Craig Franklin (0 comments)

Craig's score: 6.6 (published on May 7, 2008) - Halo-17


  • Schmoxing Lesson (unreleased)
  • Eat Your Heart Out (2014)
  • Big Hits! (2013)
  • Health is the New Drug (2012)
  • Muerta EP (2011)
  • Fur State (2010)
  • Wild Streaks and Windy Days (2008)
  • Songs in the Key of C (2006)
  • Radiation (2004)
  • The Boxing Lesson (2003)



Rock / Ambient / Psychedelic


The Boxing Lesson is a rock band from Austin, TX. A power trio with synthesizers performing the bass player's role, they create a mammoth psychedelic 'wall of sound' that begins minimally and builds into grand orchestrations. Vocalist and guitarist Paul Waclawsky, synthesizer player Jaylinn Davidson, and  veteran drummer Dancing Eagle combine strong songwriting with hard hitting beats, desert rock, deep guitar tones, synth space jams and plenty of Texas rock ’n’ roll thunder. 



BAND: Spaceboxer


Band Members