Blink-182’s Unconventional Journey
Despite their initial hit “Damnit,” Blink-182 has never really grown up. Since their early ’90s beginnings, they’ve always remained youthful and carefree, singing songs that are rooted in the exuberance of youth. This is a band that went on the “PooPoo PeePee Tour” in 1998, featuring a music video with gratuitous nudity for their most popular song, often poking fun at the angst and misunderstandings between lines of locker-room jokes and banter.
So much so that in the years that followed, even without founding guitarist Tom DeLonge, Blink-182 still stays resilient, in their own quirky way.
Blink-182’s New Album
On the title track “ONE MORE TIME…” from their latest album, Blink-182 embarks on a journey through life and death after an unsuccessful reunion attempt in 2011 with Neighborhoods alongside DeLonge and a reconciliation with Blink-182. Mark Hoppus recently disclosed his cancer diagnosis and a horrific plane crash involving Travis Barker, both of which they reference in their announcement.
“One more time” could be an expression of enthusiasm (“Do I have to die to get you to remember me?” As they inquire within the DeLonge-led chorus, there’s no sense of it being obligatory or contrived. It’s interesting that the band, rather than dwelling on the woes of midlife, is writing songs about being in the band rather than the tribulations of youth.
Blink-182’s Journey Through Adversity
So, after years of interpersonal tension and near brushes with death, another time… another love letter to life and each other. It’s also a response to the past 12 years of neighbors. Besides Mark Hoppus’s recent cancer diagnosis and his recovery in 2021, Tom DeLonge left Blink-182, moved on to his other band Angels & Airwaves, and devoted a lot of energy to researching aliens and UFOs.
Travis Barker went on to become a highly sought-after producer and songwriter for both Hoppus and pop-punk. In their absence, Matt Skiba of The Alkaline Trio joined as a somewhat less potent replacement. It’s a very different experience, but there was no guarantee that they would pay attention to it.
Blink-182: A New Chapter
Blink-182’s recent emergence has distanced itself from their youthful confession. However, this time, they embrace themes of maturity and eternal adolescence, and it’s more interesting that a reunited Blink-182 seems like a far cry from the aging rock stars of the past.
Many times… these songs revolve around members’ personal histories – near-death experiences, brotherhood, very different musical interests of all three, and most importantly, gratitude. They’re still sometimes immature and deeply silly, but the album’s flesh is full of sincerity. The title may suggest that it’s a Blink-182 joke, but it’s a different way to start anew, and they might not find it tomorrow.
Blink-182’s Nostalgic Ninth Album
Blink-182 also digs into their ninth, which mainly resonates with their 2003 self-titled LP – a crucial turning point for the band – in both voice and guitar materials; DeLonge’s leadership “Terrified” and “Turpentine” revisits “violence” and “Always” – songs they filled with dilapidated verses and haunting choruses. Especially “violence” is a gem, and among the best Blink songs in recent memory – where the catchy guitar and DeLonge’s cutthroat chorus meet Barker and Hoppus’ choppy side-project boxcar-racer is found, and they deliver it with passion.
Both DeLonge’s work in Angels & Airwaves and Hoppus’ and Barker’s recent class in pop-punk. In essence, Hoppus and Barker hired Matt Skiba of The Alkaline Trio, a relatively weaker recruit, to take DeLonge’s place for a couple of albums and dozens of shows. It’s a very lively experience, but there was no guarantee that they would be aware of it.
Blink-182’s Latest Evolution
However, even a revitalized Blink-182 can’t escape its lousy inclinations. Once again… Blink-182 is certainly “mature” by the band’s standards, but if you listen to the album’s silly (and blatantly, cruel) lead single, “Edging,” you won’t find much in it. Where many songs showcase DeLonge, Hoppus, and Barker’s speed on all three, “Edging” offers very little.
It might pick on the “edgy” moments and lines with profanity and jokes instead of high-pitched catchy punk. The overproduced production and cheap repetition are incomplete and diminish its authenticity.
Blink-182’s Musical Evolution
“Edging” is one of several songs that feel like Blink could go in one of two directions with Matt Skiba, or without him, Blink mostly uses a high-pitched vocal that aims to shine and sound crisp, and once again… it demonstrates that they don’t want to revisit their first two “basic” items – Cheshire Cat and Dude Ranch.
Instead, they are constantly reaching new heights with a heritage of old memories and the voiceovers of the 2000s, and continue to reinterpret it with age and wisdom. Once again, the focus on detail and musical brilliance is much more important than creating something new over the years.
It’s still a relatively safe album, covering all the bases, but for Blink-182, this time, they want to look at it without scrutiny. After all, we’ve been listening to Blink-182 based on the same truth 26 years ago – it’s growing.
Blink-182’s latest album, ‘ONE MORE TIME…,’ marks a unique phase in their journey. While their early days were filled with youthful antics, this chapter reflects a more mature band. The album encapsulates personal histories, near-death experiences, and brotherhood, all while retaining elements of Blink-182’s signature silliness. Their evolution, including a changing lineup and growing into themes of maturity, sets the stage for what could be their most intriguing chapter yet.
More Info: The Big E 2023