Angels & Airwaves
Angels & Airwaves, the brainchild of Blink 182’s Tom DeLonge, has always been a little too big for its britches. From their very first release, 2006’s We Don’t Need to Whisper, they’ve been shooting for the moon with epic songs that reach for the galaxies dominated by the unmatchable likes of U2. That record, and the subsequent I-Empire, had a handful of rave-worthy tracks and a whole lot of ego. From the get-go they’ve been a band — filled in with Matt Wachter (formerly of 30 Seconds to Mars), Atom Willard (The Offspring), and David Kennnedy (Box Car Racer) — whose live performances far exceeded their recorded efforts.
LOVE, self-released and distributed as a free download (or make a donation if you’re hungry for the bonus track, a remix by Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus) on the band’s website, captures not only the ambition of this band, but its spacious sound. Opening with the instrumental “Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce,” a cinematic tone is established with a quiet, gently expanding production that would not be out of place on the soundtrack to The Neverending Story or Legend. Without words, or DeLonge’s oftentimes whiny vocals that sometimes hinder an otherwise awesome song, they establish a feel that is otherworldly. This is not an accident. The band has been quietly working with director Will Eubank on a sci-fi film to be released as an extension of the album. Look for that sometime in May.
As a whole, the album is a strong soundtrack to a film we’ve yet to see. When broken down song by song, it’s a compilation of some of the best work the band has given us thus far. “The Flight of the Apollo,” “Young London,” and “Epic Holiday,” while still slightly held back by DeLonge’s tendency to draw out his “eeee’s,” are out-of-the-park hits. The guitar tones copy heavily from The Edge, but when tied together with all of the other elements, the songs sound uniquely their own.
Blink 182 may be back together, but I’m much more interested in what Angels & Airwaves has to offer.
Angels & Airwaves LOVE album download: modlife.com/angelsandairwaves/lovealbumfueltv