Anyone who thinks the blink-182 breakup was positive and polite will realize otherwise after spinning "No, It Isn't," by +44, which stars blink alums Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. The lyrics include the lines "Curse my enemies forever/Let's slit our wrists/And burn down something beautiful." Unfortunately, these heated words are paired with music and vocals that are competent but not quite compelling -- and that's the case elsewhere on When Your Heart Stops Beating, +44's debut. A few songs stand out, including "Make You Smile," a memorable duet between Hoppus and ex-Get the Girl singer Carol Heller. But while "Cliffdiving" and the title cut are decent tunes, they're smoother and more polished than is strictly necessary, and several others, such as "Weatherman," qualify as sleep aids. Granted, the results are far preferable to Angels and Airwaves, the dreadfully dull group that Tom DeLonge left blink to form -- but at this point, these two new bands don't add up to a particularly impressive total. In sum, +44, joined this Wednesday at the Ogden by the Matches, is a net minus.
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