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Blink 182: Enter Matt Skiba

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Here we go again. It’s 2016 and blink-182 is preparing for the forthcoming 7th studio album, “California” with the release of the lead single “Bored to Death”. As much as I want to be mad, and as much as I want blink-182 to just be laid to rest finally, I can’t help but, be excited. It’s like a horrific car accident. The sight is so terrible and gruesome, yet for whatever reason you’re drawn into it.

I’ll be honest, after the 2nd departure of Tom DeLonge in 2015, I really wanted that to be the final, closing chapter of the shit show that was the return of blink. Don’t get me wrong, when blink came back I was beyond overjoyed. My favorite band had made a comeback and for a while there it was really great. Then, “Neighborhoods” came out and things starting to head down hill. Their highly anticipated comeback album felt rushed and certainly lackluster. It felt like there were a lot of empty spaces in that record that could’ve, should’ve, but didn’t get filled.

When Tom DeLonge announced his second departure in early 2015, I’ll admit it, I was pissed. I threw a shit-fit on the internet like every other teenaged Pop-Punk kid who grew up with blink. It pissed me off, but there was the silver lining that the end would’ve been nigh. It was time, blink had been on a steady downward spiral. They weren’t playing shows, their music was pretty shitty and there was no passion to keep it going. I was upset that the 2nd ending was coming, but I knew that it would be for the best. And then Mark Hoppus chimed in, stating that blink-182 wasn’t going anywhere.

Enter Matt Skiba. I’ve never really cared too much for Alkaline Trio, it’s not that I don’t like them, I think they’re a solid group, I just don’t get that whole goth-punk thing. I was kind of excited though, there was promise in Matt Skiba’s voice and songwriting. Which has lead us to here, the release of “Bored to Death”.

When I saw blink-182 back in the studio there was an excited, but weary reaction. I had faith in John Feldmann manning the production aspect of it, however I’ve always preferred DeLonge’s songwriting to Hoppus’. I was worried that we’d get the second +44 record, who coincidently were my least favorite blink offshoot. Of course, that was my first thought on the first listen. However, to my surprised when the chorus kicks in the song picks up a much poppier tone, reminiscent of “untitled” mixed with a little “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket”. If that’s some kind of indication of how the record may sound, then blink-182 certainly has my ear. The song rings true to blink-182’s signature sound and could mean well for the comeback album, to end all comeback albums. However, there’s still some things to remember and keep in mind.

1. Tom DeLonge is no longer in the band – no ones kidding when they say Tom DeLonge has sounded like shit since the first blink-182 break and the breakout of his project Angels and Airwaves, but the fact remains that he was the main lyricist of the group and certainly didn’t lose his appeal when coming back to the blink-182 form. Without DeLonge’s lyricism the songs may suffer greatly. In my opinion, Mark Hoppus just can’t compare, at 40+ years old, you’d expect them to be done writing songs about girls and heartbreak, but “Bored To Death” just does that. If all the songs have that type of lyrical content, then it’ll certainly “bore [some] to death”.

2. Matt Skiba is reportedly not singing all too much – don’t get too excited about Matt Skiba’s involvement because reports have stated that his vocals don’t take much of a lead on this record. They’ll certainly add flavor and texture to some of the tracks as done in “Bored to Death”’s chorus, but I wouldn’t expect too much from Mr. Skiba.

3. It’s been 13 years since “untitled” – nothing will ever match up to what is considered one of the best alternative records of all time. No matter how badly we want this record to be something extraordinary, something fresh and something courageous and experimental, it won’t be. Blink has passed their prime and will never amount to what they’ve done in past. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. We can’t go on living in the past of blink-182 and we must take what we’re given. So many expected so much out of 2011’s “Neighborhoods”, and remember how that turned out?

All in all, this is an exciting and prospective time for blink-182. It’s a new era of the group and could either spell a great success or the past-due end of the group. I’ll certainly keep my head up and hope for the best, but don’t come crying to me when the record sounds like a shitty off shoot of +44. So let’s all go spend $75 on a preorder, let’s all drop $100+ to see them tour this summer, but can we not throw another shit fit if/when this album doesn’t match up to the unconceivable, unbeatable and damn near ridiculous hype that will surround it? Just be thankful they’re still around, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. If you love blink-182 like I do, you’ll either block out the existence of this record like we all did with “Neighborhoods”… the band included, or we’ll all praise them and thank them for still existing.

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