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Blink 182



Mark Hoppus – Bass Guitar, Vocals

Tom DeLonge – Guitar, Vocals

Travis Barker – Drums, Percussion


            Back in 1992 a couple of young punks decided to have a little fun and create some music. Mark, Tom and original drummer Scott Raynor formed Blink 182 and recorded their first album in 1994. Cheshire Cat did okay as did their follow-up album Dude Ranch in 1997. Midway through a tour in 1998 Raynor was replaced by now drummer Travis Barker. The band released their huge album Enema of the State which featured huge singles “What’s My Age Again” and the mega-hit “All the Small Things.” They then came back with Pants and Jacket in 2001which reached number 1 on the charts. They then went a little mature with their self-titled release in 2003. In 2005 the band went into indefinite hiatus. They guys didn’t stop there though. Tom formed Angels & Airwaves while Mark and Travis went onto +44. Travis also did some solo work before the band reunited in 2009. The guys began to work on their newest release Neighborhoods which hit stores in late September. The album features a huge 14 song track list and gets going with “Ghost on the Dance Floor” which tosses out a nice instrumental. The vocals then enter with the classic whine. Backing vocals come in and out while the guitars roll along. The drums chill out in the background with a few strikes that stand out once you detect them. They add a bit of flavor into the track. There is nothing really overly exciting about the tune, but it kicks off the album in a decent fashion. “Natives” has a much better sound to me than the first as it holds a beat that you can head-bang to. The vocals are right up front in your face while the music skips right along with them. The star to me is the backing vocals or chorus vocals. They steal the show for me. It’s a solid duo and the end is really nice. “Up All Night” begins with some killer tunes that get you ready to rock out. The hammer huge notes which got me thinking hard rock, but they then switch to the punk sound when the vocals come in. They do that switch out a couple times throughout the track, and the transitions aren't the best, but in the same breath they aren’t the worst I have ever heard. It’s just an okay tune. “After Midnight” is a low key tune that seems a bit boring to me. It just skates by with easy listening tunes and traditional vocals. There is no flash and dash to the track. “Snake Charmer” does the same damn thing. It floats past with okay vocals and less than exciting music. The lyrics are weird and really don't cut it. They repeat a lot and put you to sleep. “Heart’s All Gone interlude” just goes right into “Heart’s All Gone” and can be skipped. “Heart’s All Gone” turns the tempo up and finally doesn’t have you dozing off. They rip off much better music, but they still repeat the lyrics a little too much for me. One thing I do like that you haven’t’ heard much of to this point are the drums. The guitars give them openings to shine through. It’s a much better tune than what has been on the album so far, but still lacks that “wow” factor. “Wishing Well” has some energy to it, but the “da da das” are not good. They don't fit in my opinion and takes up too much time. If you take those out the song will grow on you. It turns out to me an okay tune. “Kaleidoscope” slows down once again to a crawling. I really had a hard time getting into the tune and understanding the lyrics. I really don't like the end of the track either. The entire thing just doesn’t jive and leaves you disappointed. “This is Home” is a light fluffy track that actually offers up decent lyrics. It’s slow yet again, but this time it is well received. I don't like the stuttering vocals, but the rest of the track is easy to get into. “MH 4.18.2011” turns up the intensity just a bit with a nice opening. They stroll in this track instead of gliding or walking. It’s easy to get into and you can have some fun with this one. Everything seems to come together in this offering. The guitars cruise while the drums lay down some solid beats. It may be one of the best from the record. “Love is Dangerous” is a slow tune that has strange vocals and not much to work with. It’s a little bland and blah. The progression is choppy from line to line and just doesn’t flow well. “Fighting the Gravity” follows the trend of this album. The music is choppy while the vocals are slow and strange. The ending is really bad, and will have you taking a step back. “Even If She Falls” concludes that album with an oaky track. It’s still slow, but has a little something to keep you staying around. The vocals are good while the music hits the way the rest of the album should. The track is in the top tier of the release, but that’s not really saying much.  Overall this album is disappointing. I went in, as most fans probably did, expecting some high intensity rocking punk tunes, and what they ended up getting was most boring and bland music. The vocals are whinier than expected as well. Not all the tunes seem to come together very well. I talked to a diehard fan that has loved nearly everything about the band prior to this release and he was highly disappointed. The lyrics lack substance and hooks, while the music doesn’t excite at all. There are a couple of tunes that have just enough to get you to stay, but the overall vibe of the album is less than spectacular. The excitement is gone and the anticipation of this album has worn off. The album is not anything to brag about.


Rating: 6 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Natives, MH 4.18.2011, Even If She Falls


Track List:

  1. Ghost on the Dance Floor
  2. Natives
  3. Up All Night
  4. After Midnight
  5. Snake Charmer
  6. Heart’s All Gone interlude
  7. Heart’s All Gone
  8. Wishing Well
  9. Kaleidoscope
  10. This is Home
  11. MH 4.18.2011
  12. Love is Dangerous
  13. Fighting the Gravity
  14. Even If She Falls
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