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The Australian band Boxcar was influenced by Cabaret Voltaire but sounded more like New Order. The similarity to New Order is mainly in the weary vocals of David Smith (guitar, keyboards), which easily recalls Bernard Sumner's melancholic tone. Moreover, Boxcar's music, combining upbeat keyboards and energetic riffs, would've suited New Order's Low-Life LP, released a year before Boxcar debuted. Smith formed Boxcar in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, in 1986 with Carol Rohde (vocals, keyboards). Brett Mitchell (keyboards) and Crispin Trist (percussion) joined the group, and the band continuously performed in rock-dominated Australia to little success. The group recorded some cassettes before signing with Volition in 1988. The label released Boxcar's first single, "Freemason," later that year. "Freemason" had the press labeling Boxcar as a New Order knockoff; nevertheless, the song became a smash in clubs. The track landed at number eight on the Billboard dance charts. In 1990, Boxcar recorded their debut album, Vertigo. "Gas Stop (Who Do You Think You Are?)" was another hit on the Billboard dance charts, peaking at number 13. Rohde and Trist departed from Boxcar in 1992, replaced by Stewart Lawler (synthesizers). In addition to working on songs of their own, Boxcar remixed singles for Single Gun Theory, the Models, and Severed Heads in the early '90s. Boxcar released their second full-length, Algorhythm, in 1994. The band signed with England's Pulse8 Records in 1996, but not much has been heard from them since. ~ Michael Sutton

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