Boxing the Needle: “The Bunker Sessions” – no purer honey on the brain!

Boxing the Needle is an alternative American rock band with traces of rock, soul, and blues. BTN is Ryan Townsend (guitar, vocals), Ryan Marks (bass, vocals), Yan Falmagne (keys, vocals), and Scott MacRobbie (drums). Based in New York, the band is currently working on their debut full length album with producer / engineer John Siket (Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Sonic Youth).

The Ep Cover
The Ep Cover

It is a rare thing for any band, to translate as well on a recording. It is even rarer when each of their songs fire on all cylinders out of the gate. Boxing the Needle is in a place right now most musicians only dream of being with the release of “The Bunker Sessions”, as they work their way towards their full-length debut album. Their sound is pure, honest expression, unpretentious and compelling.

In the world of cookie cutter music nowadays where one group sounds a lot like another group that sounds a lot like another group that…and on and on, you will occasionally come across a group that seeks its own style of music, without re-inventing the wheel. They simply do not follow the trend but are creating a new one that separates them from the rest.

Boxing the Needle isn’t quite ready to classified into any strict genre of music. It is certainly a classic style of rock but there is also some progressive rock traces and they throw into the mix healthy helpings of blues and soul. Their songs on this can go from wild and loud on one number to soft and soulful the next. They cover all the range of emotions here and cover it extremely well. If you never heard the music of Boxing the Needle before, this 3-track EP will keep you on your toes.

Boxing the Needle
Boxing the Needle

If you find today’s pop anthem style of music bland and boring then listen to “The Bunker Sessions” instead. It will restore faith to you that there are still musicians out there who believe in being creative and different rather than playing it safe in following along with whatever the current trend in music is at that moment. When the first song, “All We’ve Known” is done playing you may well say “Ok I know what this group is about”. Then the second song, “Savage Henry” will play, and you will start re-thinking your first assessment. By the time it gets to “Sneedens Landing”, you’ll be sure that you cannot box BTN into any category, except one…great music!

Without taking anything away from any of the other members, who all contribute with superbly convincing performances, Ryan Townsend’s lead vocals is the primary instrument throughout these tracks, ultimately defining the authentic soulful sound of Boxing the Needle. I think today when people think of heart-stopping rock and roll they think of mile a minute guitar solos, power chords, of vocals more shouted than sung; they may not think of the soulful music, smooth rhythms, well thought-out arrangements or complex melodies found on  “The Bunker Sessions”. But once they take in the full range of sounds, emotions and experiences that Boxing the Needle’s blend of rock and roll has to offer, it soon becomes clear that there can be no purer honey on the brain!


Rick Jamm

Journalist, publicist and indie music producer with a fervent passion for electric guitars and mixing desks !

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