Boxcar Racer by Boxcar Racer
Boxcar Racer was the 2002 side project of blink-182 singer/guitarist Tom Delonge and blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. Despite my love of blink-182 I have to say Boxcar Racer is Delonge’s best effort to date. When I first heard this album I was not only blown away by the music and song writing, but also by the way it impacted me emotionally. I was going through a difficult time when this album came out and I really connected with feelings being expressed. During a break from blink-182 Delonge went through a number of painful back surgeries and the songs he wrote for Boxcar Racer were in response to pain and frustration he experienced during that time. The resulting sound is more aggressive than blink-182 but at times more subdued. This albums builds the way an ocean swells. The opening track, “I Feel So” begins quietly with a clunky piano intro, goes into a little acoustic guitar part and then in come the distorted guitars only to drop back down to the acoustic guitar as the verse begins. Lyrically Delonge is known for writing of angst and heartache, and there is certainly plenty of that to go around on this album. This time however, his words bear more weight and communicate a sense of urgency. One of my favorite songs “Watch the World” speaks of love conquering all, in a dark and dieing world. Lastly, I thought I would point out the fact that this is Travis Barker’s third appearance on my Top 25 countdown. As far as I’m concerned Barker is the best drummer out there today and in Boxcar Racer his turns out his best performance. From beginning to end his unique style oozes creativity and originality; there isn’t a shred of redundancy in the drumming on this album.