#TBT: Album Review: Box, Burdens of the a.m. (from Lazy-i.com, 1999?); Vundabar tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:00 pm February 21, 2019

Box, Burdens of the a.m. (1999, Spillway)

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is really going back, maybe 20 years? Funny thing, I can’t find mention of this album anywhere on the internet. When I do a search, it takes me to a 2012 Spotify entry that is unplayable. 

I originally wrote that Mark Weber, who was in Box, was in Clarence Tilton. Wrong Weber, though if you listened to this, you could see where I might have made that mistake… 


Burdens of the a.m.

Spillway Records

Omaha’s own, Box calls its sound “rural rock,” because the members all come from small towns in the area “where their roots run strong.” Whatever you want to label it, it’s definitely well-crafted, radio-friendly southern-styled pop music that, when it’s at its most honest, recalls a feeling of dirt roads, corn fields and silos. They’re at their best on the slower, acoustic-based tracks, like “Best I’ve Got,” and “St. Peter,” that can best be compared to Lonesome Jubilee-era John Mellencamp or the Jayhawks. The faster, rave-up numbers are more twangy and will immediately make you think of the Gin Blossoms. Mark Weber’s voice so eerily resembles Gin Blossom’s Jesse Valenzuela’s that he could break into his house if it was protected by a voiceprint lock. Songs “Dragline,” “Round the Block” and “Fall,” continue to push the comparison along, thanks to song structures that also seem to match old Gin Blossoms’ tracks. And that isn’t such a bad thing… as long as you like the Gin Blossoms. Based on the band’s sheer musical talent, there’s tons of room for Box to develop a more unique, and ultimately, more satisfying style. Until then, kick up your boots and enjoy. — Lazy-i.com, sometime in 1998 or ’99…

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Vundabar plays tonight at Reverb Lounge. The Boston. Mass indie rock trio truly is indie, releasing  stuff on their own Gawk Records label, and Bandcamp, of course. And catching some traction, thanks to lots of touring. They’ve been on the road since late January and won’t be home until sometime next month, supporting their most recent album, 2018’s Smell Smoke, an album that received a massive 7.8 rating from Pitchfork, which said “Vundabar have brilliantly crafted an album that feels like it resonates with joy and sorrow both here and in the hereafter.” Chicago by way of Madison indie band Slow Pulp and our very own The Natural States open at 8 p.m. $14.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.