MCA - 2002 - 41 minutes

It had been said that Box Car Racer, the side project of Blink 182 bassist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker, would be a far punkier option than their mega-platinum regular gig. But while the album's lyrics may occasionally display a harder edge, Blink fans will still find themselves in comfortable and familiar territory.

With DeLonge on the mic, you can't get Blink out of your head, but while there's nothing here as remotely singalong as 'All the Small Things' or 'Rockshow', the 13 songs sound like the work of a real-deal, full-time band.

The best moment is when Rancid vocalist Tim Armstrong clears his throat for the delinquent shuffle of 'Cat Like Thief', a song which will have you wishing that they'd roped him in for the entire album. But with Barker's drumming masterclass driving it, 'Box Car Racer' never goes downhill fast and if you listen to the record as a stopgap before the next Blink album, it does the job.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: I Feel So - All Systems Go - Watch the World - Tiny Voices - Cat Like Thief - And I - Letters to God - My First Punk Song - Sorrow - There Is - The End With You - Elevator - Instrumental