The Boxmasters – Light Rays

The Boxmasters - Light Rays



3.8/5 Pros

  • A musical travel back in time
  • Nice melodic and vocal presence Cons

  • Songs tend to be similar

Rock’n’Roll is dead? Not at all if you ask the fans of The Boxmasters. The California band does the good old traditional genre in a very modern way – and become more and more successful during the last years. On 23rd October 2020, they release their tenth album Light Rays – even though the band history is just 13 years long. Here is my review.


The Boxmasters – About The Artists

The Boxmasters have been found in 2007 in Bellflower, Southeast Greater Los Angeles. Before the band has been initiated, one member, Billy Bob Thornton was already quite big as an actor, but also as a solo artist. The Arkansas-born Thornton, who won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, had already released three four album, rather in the country rock / blues rock genre. He is doing drums and vocals at The Boxmasters. The other two members of the band nowadays are J.D.Andrew (guitar / vocals) and Teddy Andreadis (organ / piano). They are typically supported by Dave Fowler (bass), Kirk McKim (guitar) and Eric Rhoades (drums). Already in 2008, the band released two albums, a self-titled one in June and a Christmas album in December. After Modbilly in 2009, the band took a break, but became very active since 2015. Thus, Light Rays is already the tenth studio album by The Boxmasters.


The Boxmasters – Light Rays – Track by Track

The eleven track album lasts 43 minute

1. Breathe Easy

Having reviewed two death / black metal albums right before I am writing the Light Rays review, the happy, melodic rock’n’roll sound feels like an express train ride to sunny paradise right from hell. Breathe Easy is just a lovely melodic track and gives you a good mood at the start of this album.

2. Satellite Guy

The Boxmasters are like a travel back in time – in a very modern venue: somehow, the songs have the touch of quite up-to-date pop music. But on the other hand, the organ play in the background is so old-fashioned in a lovely way. Today’s teenagers might be quickly confused by these tunes from California, but they are really fun to me.

3. Learn To Be

Learn To Be is more deep, more thoughtful than the two tracks before. The band asks Why can’t we learn to be? in here. The song has even a touch of dark country, really enjoyable.

4. Thirteen Days

Thirteen Days felt so simple, straight, welcoming from its very first moment. One of the longest tracks on the album, which strongly reminds me of late 1980’s softer rock track. Super-catching to me. The Boxmasters make me smile.

5. Come What May

Not as deep as Learn To Be, but Come What May is definitely on the slower rhythm side. The vocals are very dominant in this song. Nice variety to the tracks before.

6. Light Rays

The sixth spot is reserved for the title track. The song is rhythmic, has a light groove, but is also quite genuine. The vocals turn it to a real catcher. Good one.

7. Drag

Drag has this lovely modern Rock’n’Roll touch again. A touching melody, a present voice and this time travel feeling – The Boxmasters do a nice one on spot #7 of their 2020 as well.

8. The Air Around You

Listening to the previous songs, I hoped for some special song in that album again – and The Air Around You just serves my demand. The chorus is a lovely interaction of the different vocals – the song itself is a beautiful love metaphor – I like the air around you.

9. Pipe Dream

The Pipe Dream has these speedy parts, which are simply rock’n’roll and feel like party, 1970’s style – but also some very quiet and calm moments, where the song almost becomes a blues track. Nice.

10. Downey Girl

This will be a lovely emotional track on the next The Boxmasters tour, I guess. Very melodic, but also atmospheric the way the vocals are arranged in the chorus. Lovely!

11. You Gotta Try

Already finished? Bad luck, this is track #11 already the grand finale. Another slower track. Melodic, but not my favorite.


The Boxmasters – Light Rays – Spotify

Here is the Spotify widget to Light Rays:


The Boxmasters – Light Rays – Track by Track

The Californians do lovely music. It feels like vintage in a very positive way. Unfortunately, some of the songs also feel to be quite close to each other. Light Rays offers some really nice tracks – and there is no really weak one individually. But the overall collection of songs could have some more flavors to me. Still a nice rock’n’roll sound by The Boxmasters.



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