SXSW: Live Review (Dallas Morning News)

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

Jaylinn Davidson and Paul Waclawsky of The Boxing Lesson handled the synthesizers and guitar, respectively. (Charlie L. Harper III/Special Contributor)

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.


About The Boxing Lesson

Psychedelic Self-Defense from Austin, TX
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