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 14-year-old drumming prodigy Ben Redman combine strong songwriting with desert rock, guitar freak-outs, soul space jams and plenty of Texas rock ’n’ roll thunder. Their upcoming Big Hits! LP is produced by Chris “Frenchie” Smith.
The band was formed in Los Angeles, CA, by Paul Waclawsky in 2002. The band’s sound primarily is built around a psychedelic space rock ethos, with Waclawsky’s dark melodic guitar work using reverb, fuzz, and tape delay effects, and Jaylinn Davidson’s heavy use of Moog synthesizers. The band has not had a stringed bass player since relocating to Austin, the rhythmic function of the bassline is instead performed on the synth. Culturespill blog said, “An up-and-coming threesome out of Austin, Texas, The Boxing Lesson betray a rather thinly veiled affinity for Pink Floyd but they roughen the edges of that influence with an open-armed embrace of Spacemen 3, The Cure, Radiohead and Broken Social Scene. Craig Franklin from Halo-17 Australia wrote, “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.”
Big Hits! is the first full-length album released by The Boxing Lesson in five years. It’s more rock-oriented than The Boxing Lesson’s past albums and is produced by Chris “Frenchie” Smith (…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, The Darkness, Dandy Warhols, Scorpion Child) at The Bubble in Austin, TX. Big Hits! was released at SXSW 2013 to positive reviews. The Austin Chronicle gave it 3 ½ stars and said, “Arms buried deep in galactic mud, the Boxing Lesson takes an outer space journey to the center of the Earth.”
Making this new album was no easy fight for the Boxing Lesson. “An album’s title can seal its fate,” points out Paul Waclawsky, guitar-shredding frontman for the psychedelic synth-rock trio. When he and keyboardist Jaylinn Davidson began writing the band’s second LP four punishing years ago, they planned to name it Possibilities. Only after enduring a long and merciless beatdown of bad luck and creative interruptions did they come to curse that title. The album was mixed by Kevin Butler (Black Books) at Test Tube Audio, and mastered off analog tape by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova in Austin, TX. The fantastic results brought the project to completion, except for the album name. Utilizing a clever triple entendre, they renamed it Big Hits! and emerged with a 12th round knockout.