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Box Car Racer
Box Car Racer
MCA Records

Leave your thoughts of Blink 182’s outlook on life in the back of your mind. Erase your assumptions about the new band, which features two-thirds of Blink 182, being jammed pack of toilet talk and nonsense antics. The self-titled debut from Box Car Racer is founded at the roots of Tom Delonge and Travis Barker... punk music to move a generation. With help from Dave Kennedy and Anthony Celestino, the ‘other half’ of BCR, the band has embraced a mood much like that of Blink 182’s "Adam’s Song," and "Stay Together For The Kids." You know, those songs that move, encourage and relate to the youth.

Serious undertones such as depression, higher powers and government, prove that Delonge, who is the mastermind behind the lyrics, has the ability to let his maturity shine. That is if you can disregard the track "My First Punk Song" which involves lyrics you would expect from a title like that.

BCR’s first single from the album "I Feel So," sets the mood for what’s to come on the remaining 12 tracks of the album. "I Feel So" is a list of what everyone painfully wishes for. Sometimes I wish I was brave/I wish I was stronger/I wish I could feel no pain/Wish I was young/Wish I was shy/I wish I was honest/I wish I was you not I, is prefaced with whining guitar and powerful jolts from the percussion section leading into the child-like confessions of Delonge. Already on most rock radio stations play-lists, "I Feel So" has appealed to the masses...or maybe just made a connection with them.

The most heart wrenching song on the album, titled "Watch The World", begins as if read out of a journal entry from September 11th. I watched the smoke as it grew darker and blew up through the ruff/I watched the fed saw them panic as the fire grew.

The album is peppered with guest vocals from fellow Blink member Mark Hoppus on "Elevator," not to mention punk veterans Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory and Tim Armstrong of Rancid on the track "Cat Like Thief."

While it’s refreshing to hear Delonge sing of things that undoubtedly mean something to him, I was expecting a harder punk sound. Next to Blink 182, the album does contain a variety of sounds that are often lacking on most punk albums, but considering it was done in appreciation to Blink’s punk heroes such as Fugazi, who have long inspired the boys in the first place, I was surprised to hear such radio friendly songs. But then again, if you happen to also be in a band named Blink 182, it’s inevitable you’re going to make songs to appeal to the masses, unintentionally or not.

- Lycia Shrum

Track Listing:

  1. I Feel So
  2. All Systems Go
  3. Watch The World
  4. Tiny Voices
  5. Cat Like Thief
  6. And I
  7. Letters To God
  8. My First Punk Song
  9. Sorrow
  10. There Is
  11. The End With You
  12. Elevator
  13. Instrumental

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