Renowned as a breeding ground for guitar bands, the four piece techno/pop outfit called Boxcar has been flourishing in the Sunshine State of Queensland (Brisbane to be precise), through their shrewd and fortunate acquisition of high tech equipment. With a bevy of keyboards, sequencers and samplers Boxcar set their sights on utilizing this impressive musical armory to produce pop music geared for the 90's transcending over the "swamp-rock" thing.
"What we are really trying to achieve is music you can really get into on the dance floor and also take home and listen to", is guitarist/vocalist David Smith's take on Boxcar's raison d'jtre. "It's
a bit hard to get out of dance music at the moment. We love songs, so we're trying to write songs rather than just lay down grooves or beats."
After playing live around Brisbane, including major supports for the likes of New Order and Shriekback, Boxcar came to the attention of Sydney-based Volition, via the band's self-produced independent cassette release.
In May of '88 Boxcar recorded their debut single Freemason and with the help of remixer Robert Racic (A Certain Ratio, New Order, Severed Heads) a brilliant extended dance mix of the single was produced. The tremors started on Boxcar's native ground and through Nettwerk the shakedown continued into North America. Following the North American release, Freemason hit Top 20 on ten major dance charts on the continent including No. 8 on the Billboard Dance Chart.
A licensing deal for America with Arista Records out of New York ensued and led to legendary mixer/producer Arthur Baker remixing the track. Freemason picked up rotation play on Top 40 radio stations around the U.S. with a European release shortly following.
Meanwhile back in Australia, Boxcar began recording their debut album with Robert Racic producing. Racic went on to Vancouver, Canada to mix the album and then to Arthur Baker's Shakedown Studios in New York to finish up. From these sessions came the second single Insect. As a follow up to the success of Freemason , Insect climbed to a #20 position on the Billboard Dance Chart.
With Boxcar's debut album Vertigo virtually complete, the band entered the studios again with Racic to record the final track:
Gas Stop (who do you think you are) and came out with the third single. The dance floor momentum continued with Francois Kevorkian (who was responsible for mixing Depeche Mode's Violator album) doing a monster extended remix of Gas Stop... paving the way for the debut album Vertigo.
Vertigo is a tantalizing blend of the accessible and the ethereal where electronics form the foundation under truly sonic structures.
David Smith - vocals, guitar, keyboards.
Carol Rohde - keyboards, programming.
Crispin Trist - drums, programming.
Brett Mitchell - additional programming.