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Music Spotlight: Box Car Racer

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Ask any blink-182 fan if they know who Box Car Racer is, they will most likely look at you like you are stupid for asking. Box Car Racer, though short lived, is every blink fan's closest substitute to the real thing, even closer than +44 or Angels & Airwaves. You probably will never find a decent fan of blink who dislikes Box Car Racer. When talking about the blink-182 discography, many fans won't hesitate to slip Box Car Racer in there as well, because that's how important they are. Anyway, that's enough explanation. Here's a little about the band, straight from last.fm, smart.

Box Car Racer was a short-lived side project formed in 2002 by two members of the band blink-182, featuring guitarist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker. As lead member Tom DeLonge stated, “it was never a ‘band’ but rather a project” to experiment with and record ideas DeLonge felt did not fit with blink-182’s sound.

Tom and Travis claim the band was heavily influenced by dischord emo, citing influences such as Rites of Spring, Fugazi and later era post hardcore bands such as Quicksand.

Box Car Racer took a hiatus after their headlining tour in 2003. Tom has stated publicly that Box Car Racer is now defunct and will never reunite. Their website was taken off the Internet in late March 2005 and has since been put back online.
Sadly, Box Car Racer released just one album. A 13 track self-titled record in 2002. The record had 2 singles backing it up and a few guest appearances from some rather credible artists. Rancid vocalist Tim Armstrong turned the song 'Cat Like Thief' into pure gold with his snotty ramblings, backed up by New Found Glory's Jordan Pundik.
Each song on the Box Car Racer CD is a gem in it's own right. Whaling guitars, Tom's signature punk singing, lyrics about teen angst, love, rebellion and break-ups are what you can expect from every song.
The choruses are catchy too. Songs like 'All Systems Go', 'There Is' and Sorrow sounds like something straight from the vein of blink-182; while 'Watch The World' shows early signs of something you might hear on an Angels & Airwaves record.
And just because the band took a break from blink it doesn't mean they took a break from the fun and sex jokes. There is a song called 'My First Punk Song' where Tom shouts how he got syphilis from your mother's brownies. Cool.
So, while Tom and Travis were getting all this recognition for a fantastic record, what happened to poor old blink-182 bassist Mark Hoppus? No fear, because he also found his way onto the record, singing guest vocals on the incredible 9/11 tribute 'Elevator'.
The album received positive reviews from more or less everybody who reviewed it. The hipster kids at NME even said it was 'better than anything by blink-182'. Perhaps 2 people who reviewed the record weren't too fond of it. But let's face it, they were probably too old to understand the magic that is Box Car Racer.


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