Box Car Racer - Box Car Racer (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Box Car Racer

Box Car Racer (2002)


My proposed ad campaign that MCA Records might run for this album:

"Hey kids, like Blink 182? So do we here at MCA Records! Are your favorite singles by the band those 'deep' ones like 'Adam's Song' and 'Stay Together For The Kids'? You know the ones I'm talking about, the 'emo' ones! Those songs are really good, right? You know they are!"

"Well have we got the band for you! Tom [he's the hot one you all like, girls!] and Travis [he speaks softly but carries big sticks!] have started a side band called Box Car Racer! You know from a name like that that they're a lot more serious about their music. You won't find songs about girls and masturbation here, no way! This band only deals with real life topics, like death and the government and stuff! Don't you worry, you'll be able to relate just fine, we promise."

"And while Tom might not be singing about girls, the music hasn't changed, so don't fret, kids! The choruses in songs like "And I," "All Systems Go" and "Tiny Voices" sound like they were taken right off of the band's latest albums!"

"Are you worried that your punk rock friends will make fun of you for this? Don't fret! Ever heard of Tim Armstrong? Probably not, but your punk rock friends have, and they think he and his punk rock band, Rancid, are really cool! When you tell them that he sings on "Cat Like Thief," your punk rock friends will be wowed and let you hang out with them all the time! Plus, Tim sounds completely drunk and unintelligible on the song, so that's even *more* punk cred for you!"

"And speaking of "Cat Like Thief," remember that band that opened for Blink last summer, the Alkaline Trio? Well, Tom liked them so much that he took the music from their song "Got So Far To Go" and just put new words to it for "Cat Like Thief!" Talk about thievery! But that's okay, because stealing is punk rock - those kids will like you even more now!"

"What's that, you miss Mark? Well he makes a special guest appearance on "Elevator," and the song sounds just like the Blink 182 you know and love. Do you need any more reasons to buy this super way cool CD? I think not!"

Ok, enough of that. To sum this CD up in a phrase, it's Blink 182 in drop D tuning. Tom plays both guitar and bass on these recordings, and it's obvious - both parts mimic each other at almost every turn. Travis' drumming is definitely a standout, but he can't make every song sound good. The majority of these songs sound like bits and pieces thrown together - in most cases, the verses and the choruses don't sound anything alike. Or, in some songs, the music never deviates from the main pattern laid down at the beginning [i.e. the ever-popular "Cat Like Thief"]. There's a lot of needless orchestral stuff peppered throughout this album, too. It's like the band thought that this wouldn't make their shit smell as bad. Wrong, guys. I feel bad for all the fans they're duping into buying this. Utterly forgettable. Completely and utterly forgettable.

"Act now kids, and we'll throw in a free sticker! Call 1-600-BOXCAR1 to place your order now!"