Box Car Racer

Box Car Racer

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If anyone ever got the feeling that, in spite of its success, blink-182 has strayed much farther from its roots than the band ever expected possible (and possibly ever wanted), one listen to the eponymous disc from the side project of members Travis Barker and Thomas DeLonge would provide even more evidence. Box Car Racer removes the tongue-in-butt-cheek juvenility of the multi-platinum pop stars, and what remains could fit in perfectly alongside any of the emo output on indie labels such as Jade Tree. While blink-182 is known for providing poppy punk, this is as different as Bad Religion is to the band, just in the opposite direction, but the main divergence is lyrics that are retrospective and thoughtful -- witness "Watch the World," which could fit on a Dashboard Confessional record, with a libretto that boarders on poetry. This is a far cry from the party-boy ethos DeLonge is best known for, and he wears the emotional depth well, with songs that are just as hooky as from his bread-winning main squeeze.

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