11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Full of Promise.,
This review is from: Box Car Racer (Audio CD)
Box Car Racer's biggest mistake is allowing their promotion as 'two-thirds of Blink 182'. An automatic fan base comes guaranteed but they also acquire the all misgivings and contempt of their comedy predecessor act. Pants and Jacket saw fleeting glimpses of more mature song writing (notably 'Stay Together For The Kids') from the Blink boys but ultimately with their reputation, credibility would be unlikely.
Assuming that Box Car Racer is just a more mature Blink 182 is flawed. This album has been heralded as a return to heavier punk as a direct reference to the band members' early influences. In reality this album is much more diverse than credited. This album sees much heavier guitar focused songs (e.g.: 'Watch The World') while also producing slower acoustic pieces (e.g.: 'There Is'). The integration of the two is a highlight. Meanwhile the orchestral additions allow the album to take on the darker ethos. A lot of time in final production is clearly evident.
The song writing is fundamentally the dividing line between this album and any prejudices against the members' previous projects. The single 'I Feel So' is just a taster for some great lyrical offerings. The biggest disappointment of the album has to be 'My First Punk Song'. Yes we know it wasn't meant to be deep nor well written but does it offer anything to this album? Maybe thinking that there would be no phallic references was naive. Fortunately it doesn't ruin the album as it is followed by 'Sorrow', which features both the tempo changes and song writing qualities that make this album a success.
Significantly this album sees Travis Barker come of age. A fantastic exception of drumming throughout the album (notably 'There Is' + 'Watch the World'). Without a doubt Travis is the standout performance of this venture. His work rate and energy have always been his strengths but his creative flair and ability to take control of individual songs must at last place him in the top few drummers out there today.
Finally don't just assume this is another Blink 182 mould album. As far as Blink is concerned, the boys can play but their focus was on getting notoriety. That accomplished this album sees a move towards getting a sense of credibility. As a first offering this is a resounding accomplishment and we eagerly await further action.