Lifeforms is Angels & Airwaves‘ sixth studio album, and to say it has been long-awaited is an understatement; you may be forgiven for thinking it might never have happened.
It’s been seven years since Angels & Airwaves released The Dream Walker, their fifth album. In fact, the last time Angels & Airwaves put out an album, frontman Tom Delonge was still in the legendary band Blink 182.
Joining DeLonge, who plays guitar and synths and brings the band its lead vocals, is Ilan Rubin on drums, guitars, backing vocals, and synths, David Kennedy on guitar, and Matt Rubano on bass. DeLonge, known for his love of all things alien and out of this world, surprised no one when the album was launched into space to announce the promotional campaign.
Lifeforms opens with ‘Timebomb,’ which begins with irresistible synths before breaking out into vocals, catching listeners’ ears from the first verse—keeping them hooked with an excellent chorus and the song’s exciting instrumentals. Not leaving any slack, the second song, ‘Euphoria,’ comes in hard and uptempo. It’s sweetly reminiscent of another side project complete with heavy riffs. The album has us then step into something a little more easy-going in the way of ‘Spellbound.’
By the time we get to the fourth track, ‘No More Guns,’ we’ve settled into the album and been given a good taste of what to expect. Somewhat unsurprisingly, as the title suggests, this punk track discusses gun violence and the abundance of racism visible throughout America. Although it could apply to many other places just the same and is a sadly relatable track far from songs about aliens and UFO’s this addresses our age-old earthly problems.
‘Losing My Mind’ is up next, a song that may be familiar as a single release, not least of all because the video features frontman Tom DeLonge’s alter-ego Disco, brother to Boomer from blink-182’s “First Date” music video. The video sees Disco on a grand adventure through the Las Vegas strip late at night alongside TikTok dance sensation, Rampage.
Talking about the synth-led song DeLonge said: “I wanted to write a song about an insane idea that would never happen, like, what if our own country was being torn apart by racists, a pandemic, and domestic terrorism, but all at the same time… you know, just normal made up shit that would never happen.” Something that yet again is ever so relatable to us all at this point.
As listeners wear into the album’s second half, they are hit with ‘Automatic,’ a catchy pop-punk track full of energy that is bound to go down well in a live setting. Luckily the band head out on tour this month, so perhaps those lucky fans with tickets will experience it sometime soon. If ‘Automatic’ doesn’t make the setlist, there are plenty of others that would hit as hard.
The rest of the album plays out well, including tracks that would perhaps feel more at home in the band’s debut record, We Don’t Need To Whisper, and those that are perfectly right now. The album is great for fans who will be pleased to hear DeLonge’s familiar vocal quality back again. It is also a gateway for newer fans to begin a trip down an Angels & Airwaves rabbit hole. The record is out now on Rise Records, so for new or old fans or just a curious passerby, it’s worth a listen. Expect angst and hope all rolled into one on this promising new record.
In addition to his work with Angels & Airwaves, DeLonge has created To The Stars, a multimedia entertainment company that produces original content across music, film, television, and publishing. DeLonge served as executive producer of The History Channel series Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation and will make his feature film directorial debut with the forthcoming Monsters of California. It’s almost a wonder he had time to create a new album after all, but it was well worth the wait.