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+44 

When Your Heart Stops Beating (Interscope)

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You know what would fucking rule? If the rhythm section from Blink-182 formed this high-concept, prog-noise band -- just this snarling, multitentacled behemoth of a group boasting six guitars, two drum kits, a bassoon, 11/8 time signatures, and Bushido stage costumes.

Yeah, well, they didn't do that. What Mark Bassist and Travis Drummer did do is start this band +44, a name they pulled straight out of their multimillionaire butts (it's, like, the international dialing code for the U.S., bro). Along with two other random punk dudes, Tweedles Dee 'n' Dum adhere to Blink's formula as if it were gospel truth: adenoidal vocals, huge choruses, the occasional synth, and so on. Mind you, this doesn't have to suck; there's nothing wrong with lowbrow jokes about boobies and hooks so obnoxiously huge they make Captain Lou Albano look like a midget in a tux.

But suck it does, because instead of boobies, we get treacle like "Let's slit our wrists and burn down something beautiful" from "No It Isn't." Now, young musicians have been alchemically turning adolescent tropes into alimony payments since the dawn of time, but these two dudes spent the entire last decade doing that. Though they may not be bored with it, they've certainly bled it dry. It's time to move on; get a bassoon already.

Speaking of CD Review

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