Best of 2016 Playlist

April 25, 2016

Angels & Airwaves - "Chasing Shadows" EP Review

Angels & Airwaves is primarily driven by Tom Delonge's ambitious multi-media concepts. The band's work isn't restricted to music, they've produced films, books, and graphic novels. This EP is their latest endeavor. It's only been about 8 months since the release of the EP "...Of Nightmares", but AVA are already hitting us with this new 4 track EP. 

To buy the EP on iTunes, click this (link).

 It's been about a year since Tom Delonge released his debut solo album, which was a mix of his own material, and blink-182 demos. Still, you get the feeling he might have saved some of that material for this EP. Delonge clearly pulled from his love of bands like Radiohead and Pink Floyd, in addition to his own style of alt. rock. 

"Chasing Shadows", the companion to Delonge's new book SEKRET MACHINES, showcases a new side of the band, that we're very much into. The band's main turn-off is how "pretentious" Delonge can come off. But when he steps back and lets the music speak for itself things are stellar (pun intended). 

The bulk of Angels & Airwaves' discography is very 30 Seconds to Mars, Muse-esc. Lots of space rock with lyrics you might not understand unless you read to watch whatever "art project" Delonge has to go along with the music. But this EP balances the best of AVA (the band's atmospheric quality and grandeur) with some of blink-182's exp./alt. rock tastes. Even without reading SEKRET MACHINES, you can get something out of this release. 

"Voyager" is the closest thing to blink-182's "Neighborhoods" we'll probably see. It's a less ridiculous and has that upbeat, radio friendly chorus we all needed from AVA. The electronic influences take a backseat for this EP, a stark contrast to their 2014 album, "Dream Walker" which emphasized synths and production. 

The majority of the album takes away a lot of the space effects in favor of a more "organic" approach. It's really just Delonge, his guitar, Ilan Rubin's always spot-on drumming, and background effects. On the other side, the EPs title track more than leans on AVA's space rock, electronic styles. 

That being said, the only real "electronic rock" moment in "Chasing Shadows" is the underlying "bass" effect. It acts as an alternative to an actual bass guitar. The quick plucking of the guitar in the intro creates a twinkling melody that recalls the band's debut album. Delonge's vocals are melodic, with some minimal echo effects layered on. 


 "Chasing Shadows" is everything we could want in a release from Angels & Airwaves, especially after "...Of Nightmares". It renews faith in the band's ability to write songs that aren't just interesting to listen to, but are fun and catchy. The entire EP definitely has that alternative, almost grunge quality to it. Which separates it from the rest of the band's catalogue. 

If you can get past Tom's obvious ego, and insane ambition, then you're one of the lucky people who might enjoy this EP. 

Rating - 8/10