+44 continues pop/punk tradition of Blink 182

Oscar Areliz

Years ago, Blink 182 was one of the biggest pop/punk bands, dominating the airwaves with songs of heartbreak, partying, getting drunk, and grandpa eating hot dogs and crapping his pants.

Those times are long gone, as time has passed and the members have grown and gone their separate ways. Tom DeLonge went his own route, attempting to create his own “Joshua Tree” with his new band, Angels and Airwaves, which released their album last May.

Six months later, we now have Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker’s band. The two friends decided to stay together and form their own band, +44. The album, “When Your Heart Stops Beating,” is more of a continuation of the self-titled Blink 182 album. Hoppus and Barker assured fans their music would be different and have some electronica and other sounds not found in any Blink 182 record.

The album starts off with a fast and catchy tune, “Lycathrope.” But the song does not compare to arguably the best record, “When Your Heart Stops Beating,” which constantly played on KROQ 106.7.

The keyboard and different sounds are evident in most of the songs of the album, but none of the tracks would sound out of place if put into any Blink albums. The up-beat, punk rhythms Blink was known for continues on +44’s album.

Hoping to replicate Blink’s hit ballad “I Miss You,” +44 put their new sounds into ballads “Little Death,” “Weatherman” and “Make You Smile.” None of the tracks succeed to replicate Blink’s ballad, but they are definitely still worth a listen.

The first song to be released by the band, “No, It Isn’t,” is also on the album. The track may not stand out as much the others, but it is definitely the best-written song. Some fans believe the song was written specifically for Tom, with Mark singing, “Please understand. This isn’t just goodbye. This isn’t I can’t stand you.”

+44’s “When Your Heart Stops Beating” is a good effort from Hoppus and Barker. They were able to bring back some of the Blink sound and incorporate a little more of it. From beginning to end, Blink fans should feel nostalgic. It is difficult to not call this a Blink album because it is eerily similar to their last album, “Blink 182,” so it would not be surprising if fans appreciate this album more than that of Angels and Airwaves.

Angels and Airwaves and +44 have both released good albums that Blink fans should go pick up, but they fail to live up to what they once were. Each member has the right to explore and create the music they want to create, but Hoppus could not have put it any better: “Let’s slit our wrists and burn down something beautiful.” That is exactly what DeLonge, Hoppus and Barker did to a great band.