While I’m wondering how many of you will actually get the title pun, I’m sure a lot more of you would have heard the new material the band teased roughly a month ago. ‘Bored To Death’ revealed to us all that the happier Blink 182 are back with chirpy pop-punk hooks and catchy lyrics. Also, the weird stadium rock that former guitarist/vocalist Tom Delonge tried to force on fans seems to have disappeared, thank god. The song itself sounded a little too much like +44 than Blink 182, but it is still more of what most of us wanted from the pop punks than the Angels and Airwaves influence that tarnished the Blink 182 sound on ‘Neighbourhoods’.
‘Bored To Death’ has boosted a hype surrounding the band that was created early last year once Tom Delonge had supposedly left the band. The excitement peaked when Alkaline Trio‘s Matt Skiba was drafted in to play a show, and then another show until the rumour mill wouldn’t stop suggesting Skiba had joined Blink 182 on a permanent basis, even though he was still working hard with Alkaline Trio and other projects. It wasn’t confirmed that Delonge had officially left the band, he clearly wasn’t admitting to it and still isn’t, though Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker are pretty much saying he’s no longer a part of Blink 182 and hasn’t been for a long time due to his focus on other projects.
This decision was met with varied responses from fans but most seemed happy that Delonge was no longer ruining the band. Skiba‘s popularity on social media and his connection to the punk-rock scene showed he was certainly a good choice to replace Delonge. Once it was confirmed that Skiba would be recording on the next album, recently announced to be called ‘California‘, the excitement spread like wildfire through social media and we all knew that something good was on the horizon.
I’m not going to claim I was a fan of the band from the very beginning as I was five when ‘Cheshire Cat’ came out, but I would still call myself a long time fan. As a long time fan, there is an element of Blink 182 that I loved more than anything else. That was the joyful and silly atmosphere that we last saw in 2001 on ‘Take Off Your Pants and Jacket’ – yay masturbation puns.
And that was it, Blink 182 were known for their dick and fart jokes that lured in people who wanted jokey punk songs. Early on there were songs with silly topics, some about voyeurism, incontinence and a girl who discovered someone was her dad because he farted and sang a little song; they were subtle, but how about songs aptly named, ‘When You Fucked Grandpa’ or ‘Blowjob’? They are still funny all these years later and while some might say the band will be remembered for songs like ‘All The Small Things’, fans who dived deeper in to the bands catalogue than the singles will remember them for the silly stuff.
Sadly, that atmosphere died from the band after ‘Take Off Your Pants and Jacket’; some claim 9/11 changed Delonge‘s outlook on life, and since that moment, his songwriting never reflected what we once saw from him. Seriously just watch ‘The Urethra Chronicles’ DVDs to see how fun Delonge used to be. But there is a new hope, have you heard ‘Built This Pool’? It appears to be a 15-second song about wanting to see naked dudes at a swimming pool. Seems like Blink 182 are allowed to be the fun group again now that Delonge has no control over the writing.
It feels as if Blink 182 are ready to unveil the type of material we have all been waiting for since 2001. Having only heard a song and a bit, nobody can judge whether it will be as good. Though you can safely predict that ‘California’ is going to be the closest thing to what old school fans have wanted for a decade and a half. There is noticeably a sense of optimism for this album, far more than there ever was for ‘Neighbourhoods’. Most fans knew to expect the last album wouldn’t sound like the Blink of old, but judging from ‘Built This Pool’ and ‘Bored To Death’, things are now promising for the future. As an old school fan, I’m certainly excited for what is in store for us.
‘California’ will be released on July 1st via BMG records.