When I found out that Blink 182 broke up, I was a little bummed. I remember reading a Maximum Rock & Roll magazine (the staple punk fanzine back in the day), and seeing an ad for their first real album "Cheshire Cat." I never bought it.
It wasn't until their album "Dude Ranch" that I was enticed to have a listen. It was amazing. The guitar riffs were catchy, the lyrics were memorable, and I could relate to them. In fact, Blink 182 was the inspiration for much of my guitar playing and song writing. The big difference, though, was that most of their songs were "love" songs (or generally referred to relationships with girls). I was always determined to never sing love songs, considering 5,678,233 of them already existed. Well, I guess there was one other difference - their songs were good.
It was cool to watch a bunch of punk-rockers come out with album after album, that sold millions of copies. And, different from many bands, their music got progressively better. But it always kept that punk rock feel. It was like they were maturing with me, as I got older. And we both tried to remember our roots.
As I started down the road toward my thirties, they came out with one of my favorite songs. "What's My Age Again" was exactly how I felt at the time:
The hits continued. I bought every album, and loved almost every song. It was a good thing that CD's don't "wear out". Out of nowhere, during another peak in their popularity in 2005, they called it quits. Tom, the guitar player for Blink 182, started a new project called Angels and Airwaves. I didn't pay much attention to it, knowing it probably wouldn't be as good as Blink was.
Mark (the bass player), and Travis (the drummer), started a new band called +44. It sounded promising, as they were keeping with the same punk rock feel. Their first big single, "When Your Heart Stops Beating", is pretty cool. I also think the video is very well done:
I continued to avoid listening to Tom's band, Angels and Airwaves. I'd seen a few blurbs about it on the internet, and it seemed like a bunch of crap. I actually felt a little bad for Tom, as most everything I saw talked about what a horrible singer he is. It wasn't until I got their latest album for Christmas that I decided to really give them a listen. Much to my surprise, I was drawn in.
It has a completely different feel. The tempo is slower. The lyrics have a deeper meaning. At first listen, I thought it was okay. Now, I think it's incredible. I kinda feel that once again, Tom has matured with me. He's still writing songs that relate to exactly what I'm going through in life. When I first heard "Lifeline", I was floored. It nearly perfectly describes something that I just went through. This isn't the official video for it (it's one that somebody made), but I dig the cheesy sci-fi visuals:
Unfortunately, I still agree with most about Tom singing live. It's not very good. But hell, neither is mine. Maybe we'll work on that together, as the years go by. Angels and Airwaves has already inspired me to write a completely new kind of song. It'll be posted here sometime in the near future.
This post is dedicated to my lifeline. Her name is Lorie.