Justification Throwback: Angels & Airwaves Part 1

I haven’t written a feature in a while, so let’s do one I’ve been thinking about for a while. Narrow-minded folk, go elsewhere, this isn’t for you. Go and put some mindless crap on repeat and have a nice evening.

Most of you will know I pretty much worship these guys. However, unless you know me quite well, you won’t know why. If you care, read on. If you don’t, I won’t hold it against you.

It all started a little over 4 years ago, when my love for things alternative/rock was peaking, and I was discovering bands I’d previously ignored: case-in-point, Blink-182. Having liked some of their stuff for years (the more well-known singles), it seemed right to properly go back and check everything out. So I did, and I loved it.

Having realised some of my close friends were already pretty dedicated Blink fans (Tom, hats off to you for this), I was told to keep an ear out for Tom DeLonge’s then-upcoming new project, Angels & Airwaves. Almost immediately after getting this info, Tom (not DeLonge…!) sends me two early leaks, Good Day and The Adventure. This is the point at which I realised that this band might just be everything I was looking for in alternative music. The atmosphere created by the delayed guitars, DeLonge’s surprisingly drifty (albeit still a tiny bit whiny) vocals, some pretty nice lyricism, and a general etherealness about the whole thing made for utterly compelling listening. They sounded unlike anything I’d ever heard before, but brilliantly familiar at the same time. The sheer scale and enormity of the tracks is what was a real hook for me, with each track sounding like it was written with a belief set that isn’t bound by the limitations of anything. Crazy right?

Both tracks were really different from one another: Good Day is a slower, more progressive track whereas Adventure is simply a huge, incredibly uplifting energy rush. No prizes for guessing which one I favoured, although that’s absolutely no disrespect to Good Day, which is a fantastic song in its own right. It’s simply just that absolutely everything goes right in The Adventure; the patient build-up, the explosive entry, the catchy delayed guitars, DeLonge’s hopeful vocals and right back around again in the same order for the next verse. You can’t listen to this track without coming away feeling lifted and positive. The track builds into a massive climax, and a cool-down period to finish everything off.

The Adventure has since gone on to become my most played song in iTunes, and probably a rightful contender to the top spot in my all-time greats. It’s been used on sports highlights, build-ups etc., worldwide for years and continues to be heard on occasion. Most importantly, if you’re anything like me, it’s one of those songs that will make you feel even new levels of incredible on your best day, and will pull you away from feeling terrible on your worst. I’m not stupid, and I appreciate that it won’t be for everyone, but if you really do deem yourself to be eclectic and open-minded this is something you really ought to listen to. If you’re not, then fair enough: this song has an incredible amount of personal resonance for me, so I won’t hold it against you if you’re wary of my bias towards it.

This is only really the start/beginning of my Angels & Airwaves adventure (pun intended), and I will post a little more on the album this was on/the following two albums at a later date (assuming this doesn’t go down like a lead balloon…).

Angels & Airwaves-The Adventure

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