Album Review: Angels & Airwaves v. Blink-182

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The alternative band Angels & Airwaves released their new album Stomping the Phantom Brake Pedal about a month after the rock band Blink-182 self-released their album EP Dogs Eating Dogs. While it is odd to compare an alternative band with a rock band, one of the correlations between the two is their lead singer, Tom DeLonge.

On Stomping the Phantom Brake Pedal, there are three new songs and six remixes of some of the songs on their 2011 album Love: Part Two, making a nine song playlist. Of the three new songs, Angels & Airwaves made good use of their usual instrumental sound. They did this by making most of the songs long synthesizer solos and guitar breaks.

In a few of the songs, like “Reel 1 (Diary)”, DeLonge sings in a dark and sadistic style: “Falling back this last time/swimming in a wallow/crying and shivering/hunting for your sorrow.” While these lines are well written, his voice is overpowered by the synthesizer, thus still making the songs mostly the sound of keyboards, drums and guitars.

On the album Dogs Eating Dogs, Blink-182 has a few songs that are the heavy rock songs that they are known for. Even though they are still sticking to their traditional sound, a few of the songs linger that alternative mix of Angels & Airwaves due to the slow guitar strumming and lack of loud drum beating.

In “Boxing Day”, Delong sings, “Sad, how far you ran, I’ll search this land/up through the clouds then back here/we could reignite like fireflies, like an atom bomb/at all hours.” These lyrics reveal that Blink-182 not only has good guitar skills, but also a talent for writing.

The first album’s lyrics spread light to a certain kind of sadness that parallels the newer Angels & Airwaves. However, these lyrics are different because they have a hint of sweetness written in between the lines when DeLonge serenades, “I’ll search this land/ up through the clouds then back here” because he is willing to search the land to find her. The Angels & Airwaves songs are simply lonesome, but Blink-182’s songs paint darkness with a speck of white leaving the listener with faith.

While both Angels & Airwaves and Blink-182 have the same lead singer, they achieve a huge difference. Angels & Airwaves strives for a listener with an ear for the beats of music with their long instrumental solos. On the other hand, Blink-182 wants a listener to not only appreciate the music, but also the lyrics and the meaning behind them.

In the end, both bands stick to their respective categories with their new releases with much success. If one needs to relax and dance around their bedroom for a while, Angels & Airwaves is a perfect option. Although, if one needs heart-wrenching lyrics to brighten their day, Blink-182 would be an absolute fit. With their releases, both bands deliver music that satisfies.

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Album Review: Angels & Airwaves v. Blink-182