After giving fans two new songs from the new upcoming album ‘Neighborhoods’ in the forms of ‘Up All Night’ and ‘Hearts All Gone,’ we all await the new Blink record with great anticipation.
However, I personally can’t help but think are these days, there are two bands in Blink 182.
When Blink released their self-titled 2003 album, it marked a definite and somewhat drastic departure from their signature So-Cal pop punk sound.
Blink were expanding, experimenting and exceeding what we thought possible from the grandfathers of pop punk.
The self-titled album pushed the boundaries, but to me felt like an experimental album which would, after a follow-up album, seem like an odd addition to the Blink 182 canon.
When Tom, Mark and Travis went on indefinite hiatus and formed the bands +44 and Angels & Airwaves, it seemed less and less likely that they would return as Blink 182 and bring back their original sound.
Fast-forward to 2011 and Blink are back and are giving us glimpses of what to expect on the forthcoming album. But listening to Up all Night with its very typical Angels and Airwaves verses and then to ‘Hearts All Gone’ with its punchy +44 guitars and up-tempo attitude, it seem almost as if there are two bands fighting for the lime light.
We’re very much enjoying the new material, and we’re certainly not averse to growth and change – indeed our favourite of the two, Heart’s All Gone, seems to hark back to the Dude Ranch glory days of the band.
Interestingly, Heart’s All Gone is listed as a bonus track on Neighborhoods, and doesn’t make the cut for the actual album.
I can’t wait for the record and I hope it’s brilliant, but are we just going to get a half an Angels and Airwaves album and half a +44 album?
In the case of Up All Night, it sounds almost like the battle is literally happening during the writing of one song.
Effects-laden, AVA-style verses and chouses are bookended by unusual offbeat guitars which seem to yearn for a more old-fashioned punk sound. The outro feels distinctly disjointed, coming after a second’s silence to buffer the transition less jarringly.
Box Car Racer were a brilliant band – a great mix of Blink with a darker side, and I know Mark Hoppus was missing from that band but the songs seemed to be better without Tom’s fascination with his effects pedal and outer space.
Let’s not forget, in an interview with San Diego Reader, Tom said that BCR was an outlet for material which was not “Blink friendly” and that Angels & Airwaves was something of a continuation of this material.
I had hoped that in these two side projects, more if you include Travis Barker’s work with Transplants and solo material, that the three members of the bad had scratched that experimental itch, and gotten it out of their system so that they could return to record an album more similar to their sound pre-2003.
If Blink came out with TOYPAJ for the first time tomorrow, it wouldn’t be received particularly well. It was a product of its time and so we certainly wouldn’t want Blink simply going through the motions and becoming a mere imitation of their former selves.
I’m not writing this as a critic. If Blink were to release an 60-minute album comprised solely of fart and penis jokes (and let’s face it, there was time when they could have) I’d still buy it AND love it.
I adore Blink 182 and of course this is the progression of their music, but all I’m saying is that this new record could end up being two bands on the one album.
Consider these the ramblings of two Blink 182 devotees whose lives were so influenced by the band’s music that they just feel worried about the band’s return.
It is going to be interesting, that’s for sure, and I hope that the band show us just how awesome they are by release a record that holds up there with the likes of Dude Ranch, Enema of The State and Take Off Your Pants, And Jacket.
How do you feel about Blink’s new material? Are you happy with the way Blink’s sound has developed?
Sound off in the comments!