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Angels & Airwaves – 'LIFEFORMS' Album Review


1. Timebomb

2. Euphoria

3. Spellbound

4. No More Guns

5. Losing my Mind

6. Automatic

7. Restless Souls

8. Rebel Girl

9. A Fire In A Nameless Town

10. Kiss & Tell

Angels & Airwaves are a band that have mostly passed me by. Apart from occasionally hearing their songs on compilations or spotify playlists, I’d never given them much of my time. Obviously I remember Tom DeLonge from being in Blink-182 (and also from being obsessed with UFOs), but I was never a die-hard Blink fan either, so I certainly didn’t follow anyone’s post-band career with any interest.

After listening to this album, I’m quite glad that I didn’t. That’s not to say this album is bad, far from it – but coming to it fresh with no idea of what I was going to hear meant I was pleasantly surprised by the whole thing. There’s always a worry with a band that was formed by someone who left an iconic band that the new band will sound like a cheap knockoff of the old one, but that was dispelled within seconds of listening to “Timebomb”, the opening track of the album. In fact, I was amazed to discover that one of the pioneers of 90’s Pop-Punk had mirrored the evolution Punk originally went through at the end of the 70’s, as this album is almost New-Wave in its style and sound.

But what about the songs? After all (as I have said many times), an album is only as strong as the songs, no matter what the overall sound is like. There are some genuine crackers here – “Timebomb” is a particularly strong opener, setting out exactly what you can expect from the rest of the album, with beautiful music set alongside lyrics that seem more mature than anything you might expect, until the chorus smashes in with “Hey there little sad girl, I really wanna blowjob”, and you realise that although he may have matured over time, there is still something of the Punk Rock brat in Tom DeLonge.

“No More Guns” is another song that I absolutely loved (probably my favourite one on the album). It may be a slightly more straightforward song than most of the others and feel a little like a throwback to the simpler songs of Blink-182, but it is still developed enough to be its own thing.

“Automatic” is another great song, and I think really represents what the entire album sounds like in one three and a half minute song, so if you only listen to one song from the album to figure out whether you are going to like it, then make sure it’s this one. Finally, “Kiss & Tell”, the ending track of the album is another great song filled with singalong moments, finishing the album on a strong note.

I wouldn’t say any of the other tracks were particularly weak, though my one complaint would be that some of them are similar enough that they feel interchangeable – more than once I had to check which song I was listening to even after multiple listens of the album, which is a shame, but none of them are bad, just non-essential.

Polished, poppy and fresh, this album feels like the perfect antidote to the weird year we’ve had in 2021 (and indeed in 2020), and comes strongly recommended by me. It’s not perfect, but very few albums are, and it’s certainly something that will give you some great entertainment.

Review - Michael Braunton


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