Mark and Travis "When Your Heart Stops Beating" review on Alternative Press
Assesment: Wait a minute! Isn’t this supposed to be an electronic band with a female singer? This is a kick-ass, almost Blink-esque tune.
Mark: I love the first line of the song, it says, “I wake up at the end of a long, dark, lonely year/it’s bringing out the worst in me,” And it just starts; theres no intro, no build up-it just goes.
Travis: I think it’s a great introduction. There isn’t one song we could start with that would reveal what the whole record sounds like. This keeps you guessing about what will come.
2. Baby Come One
Assesment: Electronic drums and synths help thicken a slow build that pays off with hooky guitars and a definite bang.
Mark: We wrote this about half way through. I think this is a good indication of what (+44) is about: It’s got rock guitars, amazing drum stuff and some electronic elements. I love the line that goes “The past is only the future with the lights on.”
3. When Your Heart Stops Beating
Assesment: With huge drums and snotty, mid-range British-sounding Telecasters, the title track sounds like a blast to play live.
Mark: That song is kind of like a Sid and Nancy thing: like you love your lady and outside of that, fuck everything else. This is the last one we finished. And I think for all of us, this was the stand-out song on the album. Everyboby contributed. This is something we built together.
4. Little Death
Assesment: Previously considered for the title of the album, this track’s moody, almost lo-fi vibe fits perfectly with Mark’s most poetic lyrics on the album.
Mark: We recorded this song in Travis’ basement, my dining room, Henson Studios and [Opera Music]. It went through a lot of changes. When we started it, it was very simple and sparse, but then we kept adding and adding to it... There’s a line in the song “A little death amkes life more meaningful,” which we all thought was a nice allegory to what we’ve been going through for this past year.
Travis: [It was the title track because it was] our favorite song until we wrote “When Your Heart Stops Beating.” This still moves me, though.
Assesment: Another high-energy rocker with so many layers, you have to listen a few times just to digest all of the Cure-esque guitars, synths and handclaps in the mix.
Travis: I’ve always wanted to do hand clpas in a rock song. Just producing hip-hop songs, they’re in, like, every song. This song just felt good, like something that you’d clap your hands to.
Assesment: With acoustic guitars over programmed drums, it’s the kind of ballad that seems sweet, but has something sinister going on underneath.
Mark: I lived in a part of San Diego that one of the most beautiful places in the country, but its also one of the most evil, sickening places. People are just ugly to one another. And there’s this really strict homeowners association that has all of these rules about what you can and can’t do. And the woman who started it is named Lillian. So this song is about the ugly inside of people.
Travis: It sounds like the background music to a Star Wars movie. It’s epic to me.
To Come Later: another song the albumwas named after; the purpose of Interlude; the whole No It Isn’t story and what Chapter XIII is really about (it’s pretty surprising).
7. Cliff Diving
Assesment: If you want some classic Blink, this is it. Pogo-happy pop-punk about embracing god times and good friends.
Mark: Growing up, we used to go over to my friend’s house in the summer, jump off of his roof into the pool and call it “cliff diving.” It was a release; it was summertime. We allmost called the album Cliff Diving because it’s about embracing the unknown. So it’s also about the past year, the break-up of Blink-182, the start of this new band and the positive things that have happened from an ugly, ugly situation.
Assesment: This song represents what we thought this project would sound like: Spooky guitars, tip-hop drums and no vocals
Mark: That was one of the first songs. It was just something that we came up with in the basement that we thought was cool. We liked it as a musical break between “Cliff Diving” and “Weatherman,” because “Cliff Diving” is such a positive, upbeat thing and “Weatherman” is the darkest song on the record.
Assesment: Yup, it’s dark all right, with eerie keyboards, sad guitars and the most depressing lyrics we’ve ever heard from Hoppus.
Mark: We had been talking about making this a really dark, dirty song. I was driving to Travis’ house and the whole Blink thing, and I remember thinking of this line, “Just let me slip away, I’m barely holding on.” That became the basis for the whole song, I love that we commit to it entirley, to make it so dark.
Travis: It has growling, fuzzy keyboards and crazy bass. The lyrics are saying that he’s barely holding on, and the music is barely holding on, too.
10. No It Isn’t
Assesment: The demo of the beautiful break up song heard online explodes in its final version with thicker drums and a climatic finish
Mark: I know that there’s speculation that we put out [this song] on Tom’s birthday [December 13], but it wasn’t planned like that. We finished our song and the label came down and heard it and everyone encouraged us to put the demo on our website, so we did. There was no masterplan to it.
12. Chapter 13
Assesment: If there is a “big” rock song on here, this is it.
Mark: Shane [Alexander] [I think they meant Gallagher, but maybe it was a different Shane] and I were talking about Chapter 13 from Dante’s Inferno which is about suicide. I had this image in my head of a guy seeing a woman across a crowded room and in that instant, he knows exactly whats going to happen: He falls in love with her, goes crazy and kills huimself in a hotel room. Thats what this song is about. That a good way to end the album, huh?
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