UNSIGNED rockers The Boxer Rebellion may have just started something ground-breaking.
With the record industry dying a slow death around them the indie four-piece have released their second album Union without the backing of a record label.
But while self-releases are nothing new, The Boxer Rebellion have gone one better by securing a UK wide distribution deal with music retail giant HMV.
Frontman Nathan Nicholson said choosing to stay away from labels was a choice they had made and were openly proud of.
After all, it’s not the first time the London-based band have hit the headlines.
In January their digital only release of Union on iTunes in America was outselling Kings of Leon and MGMT as it raced to the top of the US Alternative Charts.
Nicholson said the attention garnered from the iTunes success was the catalyst behind the unique UK deal.
He explained: “After we released Union on iTunes, HMV Canada contacted us to ask where the physical albums were.
“That eventually led to HMV UK wanting to do something.
“We decided it was a good idea as we used to be signed to a label and it was a nightmare.
“We’ve been through the mill and we’re just more hands on these days; it’s more work but the pay off is a lot better.”
On top of the HMV deal in the UK, the band has a number of licensing contracts across the world to make sure fans can buy hard-copies of their material.
More evidence of the band’s burning drive comes when you discover the album, a dark yet anthemic package, was recorded amid the collapse of their debut record deal.
Nicholson added: “Our label imploded in 2005, the week our first album came out.
“We had already started writing songs so we decided to start recording the album as we went along.
“We were all working so we would block out a week every couple of months as we didn’t have any deadline.”
Business acumen aside, The Boxer Rebellion are hoping their music will create the headlines from now on.
With Nicholson’s dark searing vocals over layered guitars and falsetto backing, comparisons with Radiohead and The Cooper Temple Clause have been flying about.
Nicholson welcomed the nod to the more moody end of the indie genre and confessed he was a fan of anything “with substance”.
Download: ‘Forces’, ‘Semi-Automatic’ and ‘Evacuate’.
You can catch The Boxer Rebellion at Manchester Roadhouse on October 3 or Leeds Faversham on October 5.