Hefner Boxing Hefner

It always seems to be a little presumptuous for a band to consider releasing a rarities compilation just a couple of albums into their career, but when you have so many rare singles and unrecorded songs sitting around gathering dust then you can almost justify it. And that is the case with Hefner's latest collection, Boxing Hefner. Darren Hayman's lyrics continue to document a subject beloved to many indie-pop scribes in the past (most notably, the Wedding Present's David Gedge) and he does it with a finesse that few currently can match. He tells tales of relationship with many, many woman, with most of them ending in tears - there's only a couple of songs that could really be described as happy, even though there are a few more that sound upbeat (at least on the surface). Some of the earlier singles have been re-recorded for this collection, so they sound a bit more polished. It would almost have been nice to have the more primitive versions, but you can't everything. Boxing Hefner sounds a little disjointed - not surprising considering it is a compilation - yet it is probably the band's most well-rounded outing to date. It also acts as a decent introduction to the band, because it has songs from every stage of their history. And based on this, there's every reason to believe that Hefner will continue to go from strength to strength. (Too Pure)