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The Boxer Rebellion's moody clatter drew from a cross-section of acts including the Verve, Radiohead, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. They weren't to be confused with the late 19th century uprising in China, or even the Philadelphia punk revivalists who shared their name. Based in London, the quartet started around 2002 when visiting American student Nathan Nicholson met guitarist Todd Howe, who was originally from Australia. The two soon hooked up with Englishmen Piers Hewitt (drums) and Adam Harrison (bass), and the Boxer Rebellion started playing out wherever they could. They were eventually spotted by British rock impresario Alan McGee and signed to his Poptones label, which issued the early singles "Watermelon," "In Pursuit," and "Code Red." Buzz built for the band, which featured Nicholson's sweeping vocals over heavily treated guitars and soupy echo. After a few delays, Exits, the Boxer Rebellion's debut album, was finally released in spring 2005. It appeared in America that summer through Poptones' deal with Mercury/Universal. Union, a more ambitious effort, arrived in winter 2009. The group's third album, The Cold Still, was released in 2011. In 2013, the Boxer Rebellion returned with the Billy Bush-produced Promises. A set of brooding and atmospheric rock anthems, the group built upon the foundation they had laid with their previous works, and them opting for a more sonically crisp sound. The band followed up with a live release, Live at the Forum in 2014 and their fifth studio album, Ocean by Ocean, in 2016.