- Boxcar (band)
Infobox musical artist
Name = Boxcar
Background = group_or_band
Years_active = 1986-
Synthpop, Techno, House, Electronica
Volition Records(1988-1997?) Distributed by Nettwerk Recordsin North America
Current_members = David Smith, Stewart Lawler
Past_members = Carol Rohde, Crispin Trist, Brett Mitchell
URL = http://www.boxcar.com.au
Boxcar is an
Australian Sydney-based synth popand techno band. Formed in the mid-1980s in Brisbaneby main songwriter guitarist and vocalist David Smith, he was soon joined by keyboardists Brett Mitchell and Carol Rohde and somewhat later by drummer-percussionist Crispin Trist. They initially released several cassette-only releases including an album, "P.C.M.", and their early material had an industrial musicsensibility heavily influenced by Cabaret Voltaire and Severed Heads. They were also notable for playing many live shows in the Brisbane area and around the country, including shows where they performed wearing gas masks. Performing electronic music live was a difficult feat given the preference in Australian live venues for guitar-driven pub rock and they would sometimes be jeered by members of the crowd.
They rose to prominence after releasing the single "Freemason (You Broke The Promise)" in 1988 after signing with
Volition Records, and hit number 8 in the United States"Billboard" dance music chart. Initially criticised in the local press for being derivative of New Orderthey nevertheless built a local following, despite a lack of commercial radio airplay for electronic music. "Freemason" was soon followed by the singles "Insect" (remixed by noted producer Arthur Baker) and "Gas Stop (Who Do You Think You Are?)" (remixed by Francois Kevorkian) (both of which also charted in the US but had little local impact - "Gas Stop" peaked at #82 on the ARIA singles chart) and by their formal debut album "Vertigo" on Volition in 1990.
"Vertigo" was well received by critics who noted the production was considerably more sophisticated than most electronic music produced in Australia to that point, due in large part to producer
Robert Racic, who had also worked with Severed Headsand other Volition artists such as Single Gun Theory. Overall, "Vertigo" had a fairly pop feel, however the band also included more experimental instrumentals on the album such as "Comet" (also on the B-sideof the "Freemason" single) and "Lelore" (featuring an eerie wailing as the centrepiece "vocal", it was released as a single in its own right). A round of live dates and tours followed including supports for New Order, Depeche Mode, Erasureand Pet Shop Boys.
Soon after the release of "Vertigo", Rohde and Trist left Boxcar and the band relocated from Brisbane to Sydney and added keyboardist Stewart Lawler. A
remix album"Revision" with reworkings of "Vertigo" tracks by various local producers, including Tom Ellardfrom Severed Heads, was released in 1992, but it was another two years until the follow up album " Algorhythm" was released in Australia in 1994.
"Algorhythm" was a notably more trance and house-influenced effort than the synth-pop of "Vertigo" and spawned the singles "Universal Hymn", "What Are You So Happy About?" (featured on the
soundtrackto the 1996 film " Love and Other Catastrophes") and "People Get High". The album took almost another two full years until it was released in the United Kingdomand Europein 1996 on Pulse-8. Although not officially defunct, it was around about 1997 that Boxcar started to play fewer live dates.
In October 2007, [http://www.boxcar.com.au/rewired.html an announcement] was made of their return gig participating in the [http://www.trans.com.au/upgrade/ Upgrade] night at QUT. There is also a new track on their website, named for the infamous
Atari STgame, Llamatron. It is also indicated that Brett Mitchell is no longer a member of the band.
* [http://www.nettwerk.com/artistpage.jsp?artist_id=109&mode=bio Nettwerk Records biography]
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