BAND: The Boxers
RELEASE: Round One EP (2012)
REVIEWER: Riz Farooqi of King Ly Chee
STREAM THE RECORD HERE:
Final Rating: 9/10
Since starting this site I have been overwhelmed by how many stellar bands inhabit this continent of ours. Not that I’m surprised of course…my band has toured Asia enough times that we know that in every pocket out here, the quality of music found is beyond imaginable. It just is really heart-wrenching that because these bands are not from places in the world that get their fair share of exposure (i.e. not from USA), these bands often just play to their own scenes (and actually, are quite happy doing that which makes me respect them even more) remaining unknown to people outside their communities.
The Boxers from Laguna, Philippines is case in point.
Jay, their bass player, recently sent me their music video for the song “Step No” which is a comedic video of dudes two-stepping throughout the Philippines. But when I listened carefully to the song I heard something very different from what I’ve been hearing from hardcore bands around Asia. Here I was hearing a band that veer more towards the punk rock spectrum of things which intrigued me to the point that I quickly had to stumble on to their bandcamp to find out more.
As soon as I pressed play on their first song of their Round One EP (which was released in 2012!) called “Given Take” I was taken aback by the sounds of a band that is heavily influenced by Gorilla Biscuits/H2O/7 Seconds/Descendants! In a day where hardcore seems to be about out-tough-guying each other, this band’s melodic-positive vibe is such a breath of fresh air. I went back to their bandcamp page and immediately bought the whole EP! (Only later did I find out from Jay that I could’ve gotten the EP download for free…hahahaha…but I’m about putting money back into bands instead of grabbing free music.)
So here you go everyone…
Welcome to the world of Laguna (Philippines) hardcore band The Boxers. When you press play down below on their bandcamp prepare to smile your ass off and start dancing…
This EP begins with a quick intro of the beginning of a boxing match (The Boxers, Round One, get it?)…then the real EP begins. The songs Given Take and Steadfast immediately blast a Filipino version of Gorilla Biscuits-esque melodic punk/hardcore through your speakers. Both songs are fast paced with great melody but the overall vibe of Steadfast is so good that you will come back for repeat listens (there’s even a little break in this song that has an early Hot Water Music-vibe!). While listening to Steadfast I also wonder how this song goes down live! Such a great song hopefully is set to a scene of kids clambering over each other singing along…
By the time the 4th track comes around (excluding the intro and outro this EP only consists of 4 actual songs) and you’re already bopping away looking for your 7 Seconds records to listen to next on rotation, they flip the script by releasing a song sung in Tagalog called Malas Ko. I am always psyched to hear hardcore sung in languages besides English so when I inquire more about the background of this song, Jay informed me that this is actually a cover song of an old 80’s Filipino punk rock band called Good for Nothing. Goddamn – Filipino punk rock has been killing it since the 80’s?!?!?! And big ups to these dudes for choosing to respect and validate Filipino history by covering songs from their own scene. Jay, upon noticing how psyched I was about this, further informed me that on their upcoming full length they have chosen to cover a song by one of Laguna’s very own punk/hardcore pioneers called ADA (Aggressive Dog Attack). They hope to have the new record out by October this year…look out for that!
Then finally – you get to the fourth song that is the song in their music video found below. The song is called “Step No” and continues the Tagalog flavor but also mixes in some English.
The lyrics translated into English proves this song to be of a hilarious theme:
Prepare your favorite bandshirt
Don’t forget to clean your athletic shorts
Did you already wipe your favorite running shoes?
Just get ready because it’s your time to shine!
Let’s do the two step dance so we get sweat!
One, two, step, no!
Once you read these lyrics you fully comprehend why they chose to set this song to the concept of dudes 2-stepping all over the Philippines! So so so so so rad…enjoy the music video below!
When I asked Jay for a quick description of the band…he sent in this HILARIOUS write up!
“From Santa Rosa City, Laguna. The Boxers started making music in early 2008 with members from their respective bands (Mihara, Divided We Fall, Hitch, Crimage, xHIS DIVINE GRACEx, No Balls, No Glory).
The Boxers is just a bunch of childhood friends who decided to make some noise that we can call our own and introduce to our children…and for them to know that there was a time when their daddies used to play in a punk rock band.
UNMARKETABLE MEDDLING PUNK MAN-BOYS!”
How can you not back a band that is just having a good time! As a parent myself, I back this band whole-heartedly!
Look at this band pic…this is what you want to see in hardcore!
Get into the band: https://www.facebook.com/theboxerspunk/timeline
Check out the full EP stream below…oh also – sucks for you – I’ve already had the chance to hear a song that will be on their upcoming release called Unstable 🙂 SUCKA!