Wednesday, September 14, 2011

25 Albums. #14: Box Car Racer by Box Car Racer

Given my status as a Green Day fan, I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that I also like blink-182 (not to mention that I've written about them before). And given that I like blink-182, it shouldn't really be all that surprising that I've also checked out the member's side projects and have varying opinions on them.

Out of everything that has come from a blink-182 related band, I think that Box Car Racer's lone release is my favorite. There are the obvious blink-182 connections (the fact that Tom DeLonge does all the singing and Travis Barker played the drums and one song has a riff that sounds oddly like a riff from "First Date"), but I think that this album shows more than what's to be expected from a blink-182 album, with slightly more experimentation (somewhere along the lines of early post-hardcore stuff... before post-hardcore bands started writing 7 minute compositions) and somewhat more introspective lyrics than what the world was used to hearing from Tom DeLonge at the time (remember, this was pre-Angels & Airwaves, so he wasn't suffering from Jesus Complex yet).

"My First Punk Song" isn't very introspective, but fuck that song.

So what kind of profound effect did this album have on my life? It showed me a more mature side of an artist who always seemed childish, and it showed me that writing more "mature" music doesn't necessarily mean that you have to start trying to sound like the Beatles or Billy Joel (no offense meant to those artists, but that's usually what "professionals" mean when they say a band has matured). Also, there's a duet between Tom DeLonge and Tim Armstrong on this album, and they rip off Alkaline Trio in the process while Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory adds in extra harmonies during the chorus. That's pretty cool in its own right.

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