For Fans Of
Most people know that in 2005, Blink 182 announced they were taking a temporary hiatus… which soon become a full blown break up. The band splintered into 2 camps. Guitarist Tom DeLonge declared himself the leader of a new band who would create the greatest rock album of the last 20 years. Angels & Airwaves did create a good record, but the hype Mr DeLonge had generated prior to the record’s release ensured that Angels & Airwaves were always going to be a let down.
The second and more “grounded” group that spawned from the Blink break-up is Plus 44. Led by potty mouthed front man Mark Hoppus and aided by Travis Barker’s unparalleled abilities on the drum kit, Plus 44 began life as an electronic group with a female vocalist. As interesting as this format could have been I was somewhat relieved when Mark Hoppus announced he’d recruited 2 friends on guitar and the group were moving forward with a more straight up, organic sound.
Plus 44 have indeed made a really good emo/pop punk record. It’s catchy, it’s upbeat and the melodies are instantaneously singable… but something is obvious from the get go. Blink 182 were definitely more than a sum of their parts, because there’s an X factor prevalent on all Blink records that is definitely missing from Plus 44 (and Angels & Airwaves for that matter).
You may have noticed I keep using the word good – the reason being that there isn’t a great deal about this record that is great or outstanding. Album opener “Lycanthrope” kicks things off really well with a straight forward, modern pop punk track that is sure to impress Blink fans across the board. “Baby Come On” slows things down a little and lead single “When Your Heart Stops Beating” keeps the energy levels running high. Unfortunately the band has used their best material within the first 10 minutes of the record so the remainder of the album seems to plod along at a mediocre pace.
Plus 44 will no doubt be a popular band. Mark and Travis’s previous
group has ensured that they could release an album of themselves
farting into a mic and still go platinum… and it’s that lack of urgency
that rears its ugly head throughout the record. Hopefully album number
2 will see a return to form!
2. Baby Come On
3. When Your Heart Stops Beating
4. Little Death
7. Cliff Diving
10. No, It Isn’t
11. Make You Smile