Now this is a surprising piece of music. As some of you may know, Perverted By Language is a studio album by the post-punk band The Fall. Perverted By Language is also a quintet from Brussels, playing a nice blend of post-punk, rock and shoegaze. Boxers is their first album, after a 'bootleg' live recording. It comes in a nice digipac with an eight panel booklet. The artwork makes it all look very 'Belgian nineties rock'like and quite frankly, so does it sound.
Boxers opens with a track named 'The Box', no intros, just plain old rock 'n roll pulling all the stops at once. It takes a little while before the music settles in but when it does, it becomes a very warm welcome into the psyche of this straightforwarded band. The distinct bariton voice of Jez seems a bit estranged at first. However, after a while it brings a sense of grandeur to the music, a bit like the grandeur of Danzig but on a more intimate level. Lost For Words says hello to The Pixies and follows the same up tempo post punk feel as the opener.
The song Amandine somehow differs from the others because Élise takes over vocal duties. This results in an amazing ballad, bringing back the gloomy beauty of the eighties (our name-dropper mentions Cocteau Twins). All Of My Mother's Favorite Nightmares is another excellent new wave ballad, proving that Perverted By Language is blessed with great songwriting skills. The album continiously switches between up tempo heaviness and slow emotional songs, giving the whole an organic and joy-loaded feel. Closer Pewter Eyes seems to indicate a next level for the band where post rock influences are getting more present.
In all, Boxers is a very good album with some stunningly beautiful ballads and some solid rock songs. Perverted By Language seems to incorporate influences from Joy Division, The Cure and The Birthday Party, mix them with the grunge rock of Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots and pour a post-rock flavour all over it. This results in a very good rock album with tons of references bringing back twenty years of rock 'n roll history. In fact, this albums grows with each listen and sounds like it's recorded by a band that is not only capable of writing decent songs but also of bringing a very convincing live-show.