Black Box Recorder are an indie band from England.

When a black box (recorder) needs to be recovered and listened to, it is probably found in burning wreckage, and contains screams and terror on the audio recording. This gives you an idea of the cheerful, positive nature of this group!

They are Luke Haines, Sarah Nixey and John Moore.

Sarah is the singer, although rather than sing she tends to speak in a posh voice rather bleakly.

I can't think of another band to compare them with to give you an idea of their sound. The closest in (lack of) attitude would be Eels. They don't sound like anybody, which doesn't mean they are a wacky experimentalist band, but because no-one else (except E) seems to have quite the same negative outlook on life.

At the most basic level the songs are comprised of a gentle guitar backing, but the vocals singing their depressing lyrics together with the spooky crackly samples take them out of the singer/songwriter melancholy-lite bucket and into Prozac territory.

Their first single 'Child Psychology' was banned by Radio 1, simply because the chorus went

Life is unfair
Kill yourself or get over it

The only sign of recognition by the general public was with 'The Facts Of Life', perhaps because it didn't deal with suicide or single mothers, but just about the trials of adolescence. That it sounded vaguely like All Saints' 'Never Ever' made it more palatable for Radio 1, and this time Mark Radcliffe could make it record of the week.

After bands like Oasis and other 'Britpop' peeps being cheerfully optimistic about life in 'good old' England, Black Box Recorder offer another angle, laced with cynicism and The Truth. They started work on the first album 'England Made Me' the day Tony Blair was elected in 1997. Unlike most leftie bands, their elation and optimism at this wonderful new time in British politics was not exactly apparent on the record.

You will also like The Auteurs, Luke's old band.


Discography

Child Psychology EP

1998

  1. Child Psychology
  2. Girl Singing In The Wreckage
  3. Seasons In The Sun

England Made Me EP

1998

  1. England Made Me
  2. Factory Radio
  3. Child Psychology

England Made Me

1998

  1. Girl Singing In The Wreckage
  2. England Made Me
  3. New Baby Boom
  4. It's Only The End Of The World
  5. Ideal Home
  6. Child Psychology
  7. I. C. One Female
  8. Up Town Top Ranking
  9. Swinging
  10. Kidnapping An Heiress
  11. Hated Sunday

The Facts Of Life CD1

2000

  1. The Facts Of Life (radio edit)
  2. Soul Boy
  3. Start As You Mean To Go On

The Facts Of Life CD2

2000

  1. The Facts Of Life
  2. Brutality
  3. Watch The Angel, Not The Wire

The Facts Of Life

2000

  1. The Art Of Driving
  2. Weekend
  3. The English Motorway System
  4. May Queen
  5. Sex Life
  6. French Rock'N'Roll
  7. The Facts Of Life
  8. Straight Life
  9. Gift Horse
  10. The Deverell Twins
  11. Goodnight Kiss

The Art Of Driving CD1

2000

  1. The Art Of Driving (radio edit)
  2. The Facts Of Life (Chocolate Layers remix) ('Utterly Fantastic' - Me)
  3. Rock'N'Roll Suicide

The Art Of Driving CD2

2000

  1. The Art Of Driving
  2. Uptown Top Ranking (Black Box Recorder remix)
  3. The Facts Of Life (radio edit)
  4. The Facts Of Life (video)

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