Boxface, the musical moniker of Matthew James Thomas, is a one-man show based in San Luis Obispo, California. Life Is Fluid, his debut album as Boxface (but 4th album in his lifetime), is a collection of experimental, progressive rock with many turns and twists that keeps the listener on his/her toes.
A simple, classically-inspired piano riff opens “Entrance” the first song on the record. After a jamming beat joins the piano, the track introduces synthesizer sounds and eventually drops into an extremely experimental soundscape with warbly vocals, guitars and a solid percussion section. The following track “Pop!” infuses an indie pop rock style into the experimental playground, making for an energetic, exciting and novel sound.
Soft, echoing guitar opens “Cloud Sailing” with a hushed, ambient feel before launching into a hard-hitting rock anthem that dissolves back into a sweet reflective section, before once again transitioning into a dynamic, aggressive groove. This quick, unexpected series of sounds is characteristic of Boxface and the next three tracks “Wires,” “Gears” and “Stairs” incorporate this trend into their structure as Boxface takes inspiration from inanimate objects and weaves their concept into songs with ease.
“You’ve Come So Far” serves as the epitome of Boxface’s songwriting style with virtually every twenty seconds of the song sounding as if it could have come from a different song than the previous and following sections. Acoustic guitar chords open “Camels on the Moon” on a mellow note, as this most stripped-down song on the album highlights the raw musical talent that Boxface brings to the table.
The album comes to a rousing end with “The Road Home” a tour de force of catchy guitar riffs, pounding drum beats, powerful vocals and various other sounds that bring an ethereal, even other-worldly slant to the track. As a whole, Life is Fluid lives up to its title, and with each new twist and transition, the listener’s respect for Boxface as an artist grows.
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