Don’t hate (+44) because half it’s members are from Blink-182, a band that is best know for songs about prank phone calls and other sophomoric lyrics. Don’t hate the band because the other Blink-182 member, with his new band Angels and Airwaves, (see my review: Everyone Will Listen Even if it Hurts Sometimes) made the most pretentious album of the year had My Chemical Romance not tried to make a concept album that sounded like Queen and Pink Floyd. Don’t hate the band because half of the members are from the Transplants, a band best known for letting one of their songs to be used for a female hair product. No, don’t even hate the band because their drummer has been seen with his tongue in Paris Hilton’s mouth on multiple occasions recently.
After Blink-182 when on an indefinite hiatus, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker started up the new band describing it as more experimental and more electronica oriented. But after the duo recruited Craig Fairbaugh, who Barker played with in the Transplants, and Shane Gallagher from the band The Nervous Return, the electronic sound got pushed into the background as the guitars became more prominently featured on the release of When Your Heart Stops Beating. The result is just a slight variant of the old Blink-182 sound, a sound that the band was already going towards with the release of their last self titled album with a more mature sound and void of any frat boy humor.
There are some great modern rock tracks on the album, but some are just derivatives of other and it’s sometimes hard to distinguish the title track with the opener Lycanthrope. Little Death should like an offshoot of Blink’s I Miss You. And when the band finally lives up to its electronic promise like on 155 and the instrumental Interlude, the result is mediocre at best. An exception to that is Make You Smile where Hoppus does a heartfelt duet with Carol Heller who was part of the early carnation of the band but left to start a family.
But at least Hoppus and Barker can rest in the solace that they made a better record than their former band mate Tom DeLonge whom they may or may not have taken a dig at in the line, “This isn’t just goodbye, this is I can’t stand you” from the song No, it Isn’t.
Song to Download - When Your Heart Stops Beating
When Your Heart Stops Beating gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.