Box Car Racer might've only put out one album, but for Tom DeLonge fans, it's one of the best projects he's ever done. These tunes exist in the median between Blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves but sound like neither. Tom flirts with maturing here and it sounds pretty damned melancholy. I guess this is growing up.
Angels & Airwaves were birthed out of the death (or, more accurately, the extended hiatus) of Blink-182. It was Tom exploring those huge U2 sounds he obsessed over in high school; it was Tom trying to form the biggest band in the world. AVA might not have done that, but the band has had some jams...just listen to "Valkyrie Missile" above.
In 1999, when the world was obsessed with the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, Blink-182 dropped Enema of the State. Bratty, accessible, and dick joke–obsessed, the California trio mocked themselves and the current state of music constantly. It truly only worked because, well, they had songs. "Dumpweed" is at times offensive, but mostly it's the sound of confusion partnered with palm-muted power chords.
"Distraction" was never made a single on We Don't Need to Whisper, Angels & Airwaves first album, and it's a shame. The song has the arena rock feel Tom has spent so many years trying to cultivate and plays with space-y themes. It's peak DeLonge.