steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

El Boxeo

"Awake and Dreaming" CD

Suburban Sprawl Music

Genre: post-rock, rock

August 2007

Awake and Dreaming is broken up into two parts - the "Awake" portion and the "Dreaming" portion. A wistful concept, for sure - but one that Livonia, MA based violin/bass/drums trio El Boxeo is set to pull off. We start with Awake, a fairly stripped-down poppy/post-rocky yet violin-fronted affair that reminds me of a band by the name of 33.3. Oddly melodic and undeniably smooth, Awake's first five songs may not be stuck in your head for ages, but they kick some pretty serious ass as far as violin music goes. The two songs with vocals ("The Rope" and "New Science") buffer the leap for more traditional listeners.

Dreaming, on the other hand, calls upon a more complete style. Following a smoky lounge routine, the end of "Let's Dream Together" announces the arrival of a very different sound. Here we get the real good stuff. "Tons" is an intense, momentous slab of stringsy rock, "Jumping Down a Never-Ending Staircase" is a backwards-loop piece that fits alongside someone's memory montage about being in too deep, and "Chopping Up Vampires" is chaotic post-rock mayhem.

mp3 (from devotion


youuuuuuuutube!: a brief live clip of "the rope"

Fun Fact: El Boxeo's place of residence, Livonia, MI, is the hometown of Lindsay Lowery, who did the voice on the phone for "New Numa," Gary Brolsma's sequel to his infamous "Numa Numa" video.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks + 1 hidden, distributed by the label, released 2006]