Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Angels & Airwaves – Tunnels

Wikipedia: “Guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge’s position [in Blink 182] is disputed as of 2015″…


Maxwell Cavaseno: I’ve never understood how Tom Delonge, the most overbearingly earnest dork of a band of shameless dorks, a guy who helped pen the song “Ben Wah Balls,” could’ve become the most self-serious of American rockers. I mean, the easiest of punching bags like Billy Corgan or Jack White have some fair reason for their narcissism, given that the rockist drive is a deluded quest and probably requires fanatical egomania just to get through the day. This guy though, what claim does he have to still be atonally whining over chiming guitars about his understanding of some sense of universal truth? You don’t see Mark Hoppus thinking he’s the messiah (despite that one +44 album being curiously slept on). Perhaps one day he’ll tell me over some other anthemic slab of unity, and recognition that means absolutely nothing.

Jonathan Bradley: We teens loved Blink for their romanticism, not their potty humor — though for some of us boys, the band’s grinning dread of sex might have been part of the appeal — and of pop-punk’s Lennon-McCartney, Tom DeLonge was the one who always seemed the most willing to shrug off dick jokes for the sincerity we craved: “Going Away to College” was his, while Mark Hoppus took the lead on “What’s My Age Again.” DeLonge’s Boxcar Racer side-project, an inquiry into post-hardcore, seemed to confirm that he was the more artistically adventurous of the duo, and so the thrilling tug between ambition and ability that was Blink’s 2003 self-titled seemed to confirm that the guitarist was the visionary of the group, the creatively restless soul eager to lay juvenilia to rest once and for all. It was not to be: here is a near-forty-year-old man who confuses delay pedals for artistry and angst for depth. One of the most uncharacteristically adult tunes Blink ever recorded, meanwhile, was Mark Hoppus’s “Wendy Clear,” a fretful deconstruction of professional conflicts-of-interest. Some men were never meant to surpass their limitations.

Anthony Easton: There is power in solidarity for sadness. We assume this power ends around the time of adolescence, and hence the emo kids joke. It becomes kind of shocking when you feel yourself moved by work that pushes those teenage buttons, but is outside of fashion. (Sleater Kinney is alright, Angels & Airwaves less so), but I don’t want to be overly dismissive of the efficiency of this. 

Iain Mew: Like if Brand New started playing bad U2 covers with all of the pomp but none of the scale.

Alfred Soto: “Mainly influenced by the music of Radiohead and Pink Floyd, combining them with the grandiosity of U2,” I read, but those guitar peals and DeLonge’s vocals? Nah. Ben Gibbard singing in the Killers.

W.B. Swygart: How is it that his Proper Singing Voice is worse?

Katherine St Asaph: Tom doesn’t sing, he intones, like a sophomore stoner whose schedule forced him into choir. Between that and the muddy production it’s hard to listen charitably even if you wanted to.

Ian Mathers: Look, I am not at all against vocal processing per se, but Tom De Longe’s voice here sounds like it’s been given the audio equivalent of too much Botox. And whatever you want to say about Blink, at least they never engaged in this kind of post-U2’s worst ideas store brand Uplift™.

Brad Shoup: I guess I think of Angels & Airwaves as 30 Seconds to Mars, but with an adorable faith that the music will find its own fanatics. I could splash in this U2 kiddie pool for a while, but DeLonge’s Lost-Boy heartburn is too much to tolerate.

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2 Responses to “Angels & Airwaves – Tunnels”

  1. Boo to Bradley on being won over by Delonge’s overbaked approach at all, which was clearly playing catch-up to Hoppus’ balanced vision of Blink 182 as a lovable loser with a few things on its mind rather than than the insufferable drama king that somehow never got enough attention.

  2. lol i love this song