I figured I’d have to write this at some point, and that time has to be now. For starters, I’m one of the biggest Blink-182 fans that has ever lived. I’ve kept them in my rotation for years, can recite the lyrics to nearly every song they’ve come out with on their first six major releases, and had the chance to see them front row about five years back.
The band has been through a lot, breaking up in 2005, reuniting in 2009, and seeing the departure of founding member Tom Delonge last year.
The group has been working with producer John Feldman for their newest album, following the introduction of Matt Skiba to the lineup. Skiba previously played with Alkaline Trio, and seemed a good fit for Blink. The new album, California, is now out, and I’ve given it a few listens. It’s sold very well, and is expected to overtake Views on the charts at some point. It wasn’t that bad, to be honest. But it sure as hell wasn’t Blink-182, and comes off more as a cheap imitation of them.
I’m not going to go incredibly in-depth and do a review or anything, but besides the fantastic single “Bored to Death” and one or two other standout tracks, nothing new or interesting is done here.
At best, it’s a retread of some of their late ‘90s and early ‘00s work, and at worst it seems to ape the very latter-day pop punk bands that were inspired by Blink in the first place. Overall, I came away wanting quite a bit more, and completely missing the feeling of sitting down to listen to a brand new Blink album.
After their career-defining untitled album in 2003, their genre-bending 2011 work Neighborhoods, and their impressive 2012 EP Dogs Eating Dogs, I at least expected the band to push themselves into uncharted territory. What I got instead was a band that sounded bored, uninspired, and forced. Some may have been turned off previously by Tom Delong’s antics and nasally voice, but he also added a lot of talent and experimentation. That shit is nowhere to be found here.
Like I said, I expected this to happen at some point. The current members of Blink are about 45 years old now, and it must be hard to try to be a punk rocker at that age. Still, it hurts that my favorite band has finally stopped innovating and has come out with something that just doesn’t resonate with me.
All this complaining aside, I’m still eternally grateful that Blink kicked ass for over 20 years, and will always enjoy the work they’ve done. Oh, and I’ll still be seeing them perform later this summer..