After embarking on a recent trip to South Africa, Chicago-based rock outfit Ballroom Boxer didn’t anticipate penning songs rooted in its Midwestern background. But in the midst of international travels, creativity struck close to home—and that foundation was the basis for the group’s latest EP, Sundownr.
Centering around nostalgic Americana, the five-track EP is charged by the band’s exuberant passion fostered by its African journey.
In the opening track, “American Bonfire,” the group pays tribute to its suburban Ohio roots with bubbly, upbeat vocals and energetic guitar riffs. Lead vocalist Mike Altier paints a soundscape of the invincibility of youth with lines like, “We’re all suicide kings on a Saturday night.”
The band embodies a soulful bluegrass grit on “Where the Bottles Dance,” a rhythmic pop ballad revealing a darker lyrical edge.
In “High School Slow Dances,” Altier once again invokes a Rockwellian tenor as he croons about the careless memories of wild high school nights.
The EP is a solid second release from the Midwest rockers, and the crisp production value accompanied by resolute guitar chasms produces a satisfying sound. Listening to Ballroom Boxer’s signature lyrical content, which invokes spirited Americana, one cannot help but think of the trademark sounds of Bryan Adams.
Having built a loyal following in Chicago, Ballroom Boxer will undoubtedly propel that success to unprecedented heights with Sundownr. Fueled by the untamed spirit of its South African travels, the band has crafted a distinct American sound that will resonate across generations—and this EP has undoubtedly cemented the group as an act to watch.
Ballroom Boxer – Sundownr tracklist:
- “American Bonfire”
- “Where the Bottles Dance”
- “High School Slow Dances”
- “So Reckless”