Monday, July 6, 2009

Add It (+44)

Ok, first I gotta apologize it's been such a long time. I was very busy these past two weeks. Anyway, on the the new post. So it's nothing new that these guys were Mark Hoppus's answer to Tom DeLonge's departure from Blink-182, but that doesn't mean they can't hold their own. Comprised of Mark Hoppus (bass and vocals), Travis Barker (drums and keyboards), Shane Gallagher (guitar) and Craig Fairbaugh (guitar and vocals), (+44) (sometimes written as Plus 44) burst onto the alternative punk scene with their only album, When Your Heart Stops Beating. Don't let the one album deal fool you though, this album is GREAT. I literally love every song on it, and that rarely happens, if ever.

The album starts out with a heavy, angry song describing the past year for Hoppus with "Lycanthrope." It continues on to the title track, and then to (+44)'s own punk power balled for the ages, "Baby, Come On." Not only are these first three songs incredible, and hit you hard in the first ten minutes of the album, they are so well constructed that they could carry the rest of the album. With lines like "...the past is only the future with the lights on..." (from "Baby, Come On"), and "...I hear your voice start breaking in fear as the lights go down..." (from "Lycanthrope"), "When Your Heart Stops Beating" drives you hundreds of miles an hour from start to stop. 

Then there are the later tracks on the album that make a different kind of impact, with a different sound. "155" is a curiously written song, starting off with a drum beat and keyboard progression. Though it's different, however, that doesn't mean in any way that it doesn't deserve to be on this album. It's an awesome song, and one that you'll be humming all day. That leaves "No, It Isn't," what could possibly seem to be Hoppus's theme song with regards to Blink's breakup. Only one line is required to say all Hoppus feels about Blink's demise and DeLonge's departure: "...this isn't just goodbye, this is I can't stand you..." An incredibly powerful song, and one that will definitely make you think. If you've been living under a rock for four years, I highly, highly, suggest going out and listening to this album. It really is an incredible work of alternative punk melody with insightful lyrics.

Sounds Like: Blink-182, Sum 41

Key Tracks from When Your Heart Stops Beating: "When Your Heart Stops Beating," "Lycanthrope," "Baby, Come On," "155," "No, It Isn't," "Weatherman"

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