Angels & Airwaves is an American supergroup, currently featuring former Blink-182 guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge, drummer and keyboardist Ilan Rubin (Lostprophets, Nine Inch Nails), guitarist David Kennedy (Over My Dead Body, Hazen Street, Box Car Racer) and bassist Eddie Breckenridge (Thrice). Former members are Ryan Sinn (The Distillers), drummerAdam “Atom” Willard (The Offspring, Rocket from the Crypt and Against Me!), bassist Matt Wachter (Thirty Seconds to Mars).
Formed after Blink-182 went on hiatus in 2005, the band has continued to record and tour despite DeLonge reigniting his career with Blink-182 in 2009. The band has released five studio albums We Don’t Need to Whisper (2006), I-Empire (2007),Love (2010), Love: Part Two (2011) and The Dream Walker (2014). The project also resulted in the documentary film Start the Machine (2008). In 2011, accompanying the two Love albums, the group scored and produced the science fiction drama film Love by director William Eubank in 460 theatres nationwide during their multimedia event, Love Live. The band released an animated short named Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker and their fifth album, The Dream Walker, on December 9th. Other related media, such as comic books and a live-action film, are to follow in 2015.
Of the first two albums, the band says that they were mainly influenced by the music of Radiohead and Pink Floyd, combining them with the grandiosity of U2. Of the first album, Delonge said that it would be “the best music in generations”, but afterwards admitted that during this time he was addicted to painkillers. Love project shows further blending of the band’s musical aspirations of epic and grandiosity and the cultural revolution in the digital
Teenagers & Rituals—-Beginning with a morose piano intro, it is not long before the familiar and comforting sound of Tom’s voice enters the fray. The track has a huge sound…at once catchy and addictive…this is everything I have grown to expect from this band…introspective and muscular.
Paralyzed—-Sometimes, one becomes ‘addicted’ to a band because of the predictability of the sound…such is Angels. You always know what to expect from these guys…a huge musical sound, a slight vocal whine and a melody that wakes you from a sound sleep in the middle of the night because it is so damn catchy. That has been my experience with this release….Tom has the recipe…and he cooks it masterfully.
The Wolfpack—-One of the lead off singles from this release, the only complaint I have with this track is that it is a little late in life to continue singing of teenage angst. This is catchy as hell…the chorus overwhelms me and has caused me to listen to this over and over and over. I really love this band.
Tunnels—-Beginning with a rather deep and dark sound, even the voice is a bit sedate at the onset. The warmth of the song draws me in though and I am instantly comfortable. This track is a bit different…but still has the muscularity that you expect. The whine is is full effect and wams me…comforts me and makes me relate…a standout! What a masterful melody….damn!
Kiss With A Spell—-Reminding me at once like a track from a long lost 80’s band, I have had this song on constant rotation since this release was available. The morose…the love..the longing…it all makes my heart ache.. The chorus is so damn contagious I this I could live with this virus forever. I simply love this song….I can’t get enough of that voice….whatever happens with Blink, I at least know I will ALWAYS have this….a freakin’ masterpiece. So huge!!!
Mercenaries—-Almost whispering at the onset, this track seems to build and becomes larger as it advances. The drums kick in and the voice has a remarkable urgency that is just overwhelming. You can’t appreciate words describing the beauty of the song…it is best experienced with headphones…when that melodic whine hits your senses….you WILL be hooked.
Bullet In The Wind-—Beginning with a really nice guitar intro, this sound is a little bit different than the rest of the release. That is not to say that is a bad thing..it keeps things interesting and moves the CD along rather well…I have always believed that song placement on a release is key…and this manages to keep you from becoming to bored with the same sound…I love this.
The Disease—-Another track that has a rather deep sound at the onset but brightens up with the voice intro. This is not as catchy as most of the things on this release…nor is it a throw away track….simply because the melody is so damn catchy. This comes and goes with moodiness…the drums are pure standout…the song almost makes me smile!
Tremors—-Another track that drags a bit at the onset…but the drums and the melody overtakes you the more you listen to it. The backdrop vocal..the overdubs…make this song huge and muscular. I think that Tom will do just fine with or without Blink….I love them both. This song…in a subtle way…makes me sad.
Anomaly—-The closing track begins rather sedate and acoustic!!! The voice seems more mature and the words make me sit back in my chair and think for awhile. This is a nice closing track that really differs from everything else on the release. All in all…this was worth the wait…but I hope the wait for the next release is not nearly as long as the previous.
**** out of 5