Boxcar Racer Boxcar Racer

Being almost 27-year-old punk rockers playing in a band that appeals more to screaming pubescent girls than mohawked slam dancers has got to be a little frustrating, which probably explains why Blink 182 guitarist Tom Delonge and drummer Travis Barker felt the need to branch out and write more "mature" and "serious" music that reflects their earliest musical inspirations. One listen to their debut reveals that Boxcar Racer is quite obviously a Blink 182 side-project, however. While beefing up the guitars, toning down the fart and dog cum jokes, and easing up on the rapid-fire pop-punk rhythms to give it a "heavier" sound and feel, Delonge's trademarked nasally vocal spewing makes it impossible to ignore where he comes from. But the record also proves that given room to move outside the limitations of the Blink formula, Delonge and Barker are actually pretty decent songwriters and deeper than their Blink work would suggest. (Universal)