The Boxer Rebellion emerges victorious

If you didn’t catch the brainy Drew Barrymore/Justin Long comedy “Going The Distance” in theaters, no worries — it just hit the streets on DVD. Allowing viewers to really focus on the band that chews up a lot of nightclub-set scenery — Britain’s dreamy The Boxer Rebellion, whom (spoiler alert!) Long’s character ends up managing. And their real-life story isn’t too far from that depicted in the film.

Vocalist Nathan Nicholson hails from Tennessee, guitarist Todd Howe from Australia, but it was in London where the two met British bassist Adam Harrison and drummer Piers Hewitt. But just as their “Exits” debut was released five years ago on Alan McGee’s Poptones imprint, everything collapsed for the group when the label went belly up.

“Funnily enough, you’d think getting dropped from a record deal would be the last nail on the coffin, but it was actually a relief,” says Howe.

The Rebellion went underground, re-imagined their sound, and finally resurfaced last year with the Modern English-ethereal “Union,” which they financed/issued themselves via iTunes, where it sold 10,000 copies in the first week alone.

“It was really that quick — from absolutely nothing to a complete vindication for us,” Howe says, excited about their new Ethan Johns-produced third set, “The Cold Still” — and stomping anthems like “Doubt,” “No Harm’ and “Step Out Of The Car” — which hits stores Feb. 8 on their own Absentee Recordings.

Working at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studio, Johns (the son of legendary production whiz Glyn Johns) has taken his proteges to the next panoramic level.

No input from Justin Long required.

artsBackstage PassGoing the DistancePop Music & JazzThe Boxer Rebellion

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference about a $12 billion package bolstering the state’s response to the homelessness crisis at the Kearney Vista Apartments on May 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Newsom promises sweeping change in California’s $267-billion budget

John Myers Los Angeles Times California would embark on the most ambitious… Continue reading

Despite the pandemic, San Francisco has ended the fiscal year with a budget surplus. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Better than expected tax revenues leave city with $157.3M surplus for this year

As the fiscal year nears an end and Mayor London Breed prepares… Continue reading

Passengers board a BART train bound for the San Francisco Airport at Powell Street station. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART bumps up service restoration to August 30, offers fare discounts

Rail agency breaks pandemic ridership records, prepares to welcome more passengers

Ashley and Michelle Monterrosa hold a photo of their brother Sean Monterrosa, who was killed by a Vallejo police officer early Tuesday morning, as they are comforted at a memorial rally at the 24th Street Mission BART plaza on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
State Department of Justice to investigate Sean Monterrosa shooting by Vallejo police

Attorney General Rob Bonta steps in after Solano County DA declines case

Most Read