Anyone who’s a fan of real music can point back to a band that got them into the way harder stuff. For me, that pipeline began with Blink-182 and took me all the way to really dark bands like Box Car Racer. Sure, that sounds like a huge stretch because Box Car Racer is worlds away from the mainstream curb appeal of Blink, but I don’t think I could’ve handled the extremeness of Box Car Racer without first dipping my toe in the pool with a way tamer group.
Growing up, my parents actually didn’t mind Blink-182, which makes sense because of their cute commercial sound. But then I discovered Box Car Racer aka every parent’s worst nightmare. I remember hiding their CDs under my bed knowing they would freak out and probably call the priest on me if they even heard a second of that dark, twisted sound.
To the untrained ear, songs like “There Is” may just sound like noise. But that’s because the layperson can’t handle the deafening sounds of such heavy acoustic guitar strumming. I, and a few others who truly get it, have the ability to fully appreciate their artistry. If you can just get past their rowdiness, you’ll understand that Box Car writes songs about real shit. Shit like love and how love is shit. Their lyrics were so deep I could drown, which was another thing my parents were afraid of.
When I occasionally listen back to Blink, I chuckle to think I was ever into that bubblegum, Britany Spears type music. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Blink for everything they’ve given me, but now that Box Car Racer has shown me the songwriting of Tom DeLonge and the drumming of Travis Barker, there’s no way I can go back.
Who knows, maybe in the future I’ll be able to listen to bands from even heavier, more obscure subgenres. Like Angels & Airwaves.