Angels and Airwaves - We Don't Need to Whisper

Discuss the following - Blink 182, a band known for their video antics and teen angst tunes, were nothing more than an American version of Busted. Whilst towards the end of their career the songs matured and the band got tougher, the earlier years are marked by fluff like All The Small Things, where wacky videos ensured MTV airplay and exposure. In just over a decade, they rose out of the San Diego suburbs, selling an incredible 20 million albums in the process.

Angels and Airwaves is a solo project created by Blink-182 guitarist, Tom DeLonge. His friend and former Box Car Racer member David Kennedy, Offspring drummer Atom Willard and Distillers former bass-player Ryan Sinn are also members of his new band. DeLonge claims that his new project will be "the best music made in decades" as well as being "much more powerful, emotional and melodic than Box Car and Blink 182 put together". The plan was for a darker album, mixing guitars and electronics, also telling a story. The theme of war is prevalent throughout this album, as are thoughts of outer space, hope and humanity.

But is it any good? Well, on the whole, it’s not bad. As far as the tunes go, it is not hugely removed from Blink 182, and if the vocals annoyed you there, they will annoy you here. Lead single The Adventure is a good example of the progressive quality of this record, until you get to the rather flat and uninteresting chorus, DeLonge's whine taking the life out of the song as steel girders clank and hammer behind him. The ending of the song also seems to go on forever, far outstaying its welcome.

However, there is much that is better. Opening track Valkyrie Missile is mean and brooding, starting with a simple keyboard line before cascading into a pounding rhythm, hard snares set against sparkling guitar patterns. Distraction is also excellent, with a tight, military beat and a fine chorus. The War is a bright, muscular song, with quite an old fashioned U2 feel to it. Closing track Start the Machine is also good, again full of the song of clanging metal, sounding almost like a musical box, packed with great melodies and ideas.

The songs though that let this album down are the ones that sound most like Blink 182, all be it with a much more powerful sound. The vocals on Good Day are not to my tastes, and It Hurts tries hard to sound big but is just repetitive and a little bit dull.

As an album, this fits together very well and DeLonge should be proud of his efforts. It is close enough to his old band so as not to alienate old fans, and who knows, he may pick up some new followers along the way. lets just hope he keeps his clothes on in the videos.



out of 10
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