Album review: Angels & Airwaves – LIFEFORMS
‘We’re not alone and the government knows it,’ sings Tom DeLonge on Losing My Mind. A wry nod to his pivotal role in the release of classified Pentagon videos depicting UFOs, Tom’s words also speak to LIFEFORMS’ typically wide-eyed, sci-fi take on alt.rock, the likes of which Angels & Airwaves have been producing for years. The perfect musical companion to an evening spent looking at the starry night’s sky, LIFEFORMS contains some of the band’s best work, with Tom in particular sounding invigorated and on fine form.
All the trappings of vintage Angels & Airwaves are present across LIFEFORMS. Be it Timebomb’s otherworldly use of a vocoder, Restless Souls’ widescreen chorus, or the synth-heavy Spellbound, Tom and bandmates David Kennedy, Matt Rubano and Ilan Rubin consistently conjure up the kind of sound that feels greater than the sum of its parts. Better still, LIFEFORMS offers a couple of nods to Tom’s punk roots, most notably via the sprightly indie-punk riffs of No More Guns and the breezy Automatic, which recalls Neighborhoods-era blink-182 songs like This Is Home. 2019 single Rebel Girl, meanwhile, still sounds as effervescent as it did on initial release, and remains one of Angels & Airwaves’ finest tracks.
It’s all very good, with only penultimate track A Fire In A Nameless Town falling a little flat, and the end result is not only an album that will delight diehard Tom DeLonge fans, but one that lovers of anthemic and occasionally experimental alt.rock will enjoy too.
For fans of: Electric Century, blink-182, The Dangerous Summer
LIFEFORMS is released on September 24 via Rise
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