Melody Maker, July 16, 1977

BOXER: "Absolutely" (Epic)
By Allan Jones

This album, the first by the new Boxer line-up (only vocalist Mike Patto remains from the original group that produced the entertaining, if inconsistent, "Below The Belt"), is drab and inconclusive. The musicians that Patto has gathered around him for this project are all refugees from various bands who have, over the past decade, enjoyed varying degrees of success without ever achieving the fame and fortune of many of their contemporaries. For instance, Chris Stainton and Tim Bogert, the most familiar personalities employed here, have drifted through the rock circus for years and would appear to be making with Patto and Boxer some kind of last stand; even their more spirited forays produce little that is memorable. The music is basic hard rock, coloured occasionally by Staintonís intermittently distinguished keyboard flourishes. The themes of the songs (all Boxer originals) are as tiresome and as familiar as the musical settings. There are songs about being on the road, leaving behind a lover and missing her; songs about foxy ladies; songs about raising hell in a red-blooded rock and roll bandÖ

Indeed, the entire album is drenched in computerised anonymity, from Jeff Glixmanís slick production to the bland efficiency of the rhythm section and Adrian Fisherís standard guitar routines. A comparison can be made with the lamentable Rough Diamond - a contemporary group of rock and roll losers. Both bands have the same doomed air of obsolescence. The point is unintentionally emphasised by the albumís title. Itís a catch-phrase from the movie Rocky: a film, you might recall, about another eventual loser. At least, he went down with dignity. I suggest that Boxer follow his example and retire now. Ė A.J.


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