Box Car Racer: Self Titled

Released: March 21, 2002

Box Car Racer was a side project made up of Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker, and David Kennedy that only produced this one album. Some say that this album resulted in a little tension within blink-182 which later led up to the bands first split and was somewhat of a precursor for what later became Angels and Airwaves. DeLonge had written music that he felt didn’t fit in with what blink-182 was and decided to make a side project. This album definitely has a sound much different than that of blink-182. The music is aggressive and has more of a thrash to it than anything blink-182 had ever done. If this was recorded or released as a blink-182 album it might have turned some fans off or possibly changed the future of the band.

The songs on this album seem to be fueled by frustration and have more of a post-hardcore and traditional punk sound to them. The hit single “I Feel So” is a very frustrated, aggressive track that shows a side of Tom that had not really been demonstrated before. The track “Letters to God” is a deep track that seems to be a retrospective look at life and how the time for change is now, don’t wait. The overall feel of this album lyrically seems to be deeper more emotional and aggressive material that almost comes off as a form of venting. This is what makes this album so great, unique, and vastly different from the material that was released under blink-182.

This is an album that has a special place in my heart. It demonstrated a different dynamic of a musician who had always seemed to be a light hearted goofball. It cuts deep and demonstrates a thrash-like post-hardcore sound that was unexpected from a musician who was known for pop-punk radio hits. This album is great from start to finish with it’s mix of aggression, frustration, passion, and anger. I love this album for what it is and if you have never given it a listen I am sure it won’t disappoint! While this album may have sparked a fire between band mates, it stands well on its own and remains as good as it was when it was released.

Notable Tracks
I Feel So
Watch the World
Letters to God
There Is

Rating: 8.88
Grade: B+

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