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Genre: New Wave Band

Location: UK

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About Joboxers

Often derided by critics, history will reveal that the early '80s was one of the most innovative times in Rock history. In the late '70s, the initial thrill of Punk had started to burn out, handing off the baton to the New Wave and Post-Punk scenes. At the same time, the moody, experimental Electronic music scene had begun to morph into bubbly Synthpop. By the time the early '80s rolled around, these movements had converged and, in their wake, they left behind some of the most exciting hybrid genres of the decade. From New Romantic to Rockabilly, Brit-Funk to Ska, NWOBHM to Industrial, the first few years of the '80s dictated just what direction that popular music would take for the next three decades.

With their Jazz-inspired sound, London based quintet Joboxers evolved during this fertile period in time. They not only had imagination, drive and musical chops, they had already paid their dues as well. American vocalist Dig Wayne helped nurture the Rockabilly scene in the U.S. as the frontman for Buzz & The Flyers. British musicians Chris Bostock, Sean McLusky, Rob Marche and Dave Collard had been performing together in the Jazz-influenced Subway Sect, the backing band for former Punk icon Vic Godard. When Dig and the Sect came together, the chemistry was instantaneous. And with Godard reluctant to create more music, the Sect joined up with their new American vocalist and changed their name to JoBoxers.

By the time their debut single, "Boxerbeat", hit the streets in 1983, the band had already built up a sizable following in the UK. With their no-nonsense Bowery Boys image to their timeless sound that incorporated Jazz, Northern Soul, Funk and Pop, JoBoxers became the talk of the town, sending the single to the #3 position in the UK charts.

While "Boxerbeat" may have been their highest charting release, it was the single "Just Got Lucky" that would become the most memorable release in the band's short career. It even made its way across the pond to the U.S., where it became a sizable hit. More importantly, the song's upbeat timelessness has ensured its longevity, landing it on soundtracks such as Just My Luck and 40 Year Old Virgin decades after it was initially released.

The band's diverse 1983 debut album, Like Gangbusters, has just been reissued on Hot Shot/Cherry Red Records. While many of these tracks have appeared on compilations over the years, this is the first time that the album has been released in its original running order, complete with bonus non-album tracks and remixes. While the two aforementioned singles are the band's best known tracks, the album also contains the singles "She's Got Sex" and "Johnny Friendly", both of which were sizable hits and, not surprisingly, unlike anything else played on the radio at the time. Yet, Like Gangbusters is more than the sum of its singles: it's a strong album that has managed to hold up over years with all of its charm intact. From top to bottom, this album is filled with great tunes, unbridled energy and a confident swagger that steers clear of arrogance and ego. While some of the songs may have a dated drum sound here or keyboard flourish there, it doesn't distract the listener from the great batch of tunes on display.

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