This is a review of "The Boxroom Tapes Volume 2" recorded by Cardboard Cowboy. The review was written by Sam Robson in 2005.
This work-in-progress demo starts with breathless vocals and stomping guitar that bounces off some delightful bass lines before collapsing in a heap, regaining composure and then stomping off again. “You don’t need to cry” goes off in interesting directions but does lose itself in a slightly uncomfortable falsetto middle section.
“I’m not sleeping” regains the Cowboy’s posture in a charming old west style that simply refuses to become tiring even though it sounds like the band are about to fall asleep themselves. The following “When I set sail” is in comparison pretty disappointing as it doesn’t carry you along for the ride half as much, it’s a little untidy and not as expansive as the rest of the demo. The Cowboy has managed to save the best for last however, because “Can’t be alone” is truly sublime. There is a warm late-sixties feel to the verse, a beautiful introduction of woody sounding organ, and a graceful hook of a chorus. This time the falsetto is spot on and perfectly suited.
The press release informs these four tracks were recorded in a “front room over a recently, mildly debauched, weekend” and from the outset you can sense a lacquered whisky mark around the rim of volume 2’s delivery, in both the vocals (sounding like Keith Richards singing Primal Scream) and the wandering organ. This is all commendable by the way (the organ is more than commendable!) and though not thoroughly convincing it shows a lot of potential for the next album.