It still feels strange to hear new music from Blink-182. I’m not sure what it is … maybe it’s because they’re the band that started me down a path that completely changed my life. Without having heard them, I am really not sure where I would have ended up. Or maybe it’s just because after their ‘hiatus’ I had relegated myself to not really expecting to ever hear new music from them again. So now … when I first hit play on a new Blink-182 song … I get this indescribable feeling that washes over me, almost as though I shouldn’t really be hearing this. Like it’s a dream of a dream. It’s weird.
Anyway — how’s the new EP? Damn good. These guys just flat out know how to write songs. They have combined the sound from the Untitled album with the path they walked down on Neighborhoods – and have put together a 5 song EP that any fan should be proud to add to their collection. It’s strange to have an EP from this band … you’re used to having a full album to digest and work through, and here – there’s no wasted space or time. “When I Was Young” opens the album with a track that would have fit right at home on the band’s last album. The production sounds crisp (although I’m sure someone out there is going to complain about it anyway) and I love the energy the band brings to the table. Look, we’re not getting any lyrical masterpieces here, we’re getting Blink-182 doing what they do best: writing catchy rock songs that you want to sing along with your friends and relate to. At this, they succeed in spades.
The title track sounds like it could have been a lost +44 song and has a pace in the vein of “Go” or “Hearts All Gone” … I’ve always had a thing for Hoppus’ led songs … and this is no exception. I think most Blink fans will say that the best tracks are the ones where both Mark and Tom are singing on — and that’s easily my favorite part of this EP because of how frequently we get to hear them going back and forth.
”Boxing Day” ended up being my least favorite on the EP – and by now I’m sure you’ve heard it — but the true highlight, in my opinion, is “Pretty Little Girl.” It may just end up being the most polarizing song from the band in a long while (I’m old enough to remember when “What’s My Age Again” and “Feeling This” were polarizing). Sure, it contains like 15 seconds of Yeowolf saying something I can’t remember — but besides that it’s got a great hook, great melody, and is arguably the best song the band’s written since they’ve reunited. With each listen to the EP I find myself getting excited for this one the most. I love how Tom says “what a crazy world, pretty little girl …”
I would say that I don’t see any reason that Blink fans should be disappointed in this release … but then I thought the same after hearing Neighborhoods. I still maintain that that is a good album with a lot of good songs. I’m not really sure what’s happened since the hiatus, but I feel like a lot of “fans” are looking to over analyze and pick on any little thing the band does. Is Tom happy? Did they record together? Who is in the producer seat? Yadaydayadya. Sure, there are some valid complaints with the last album – which I don’t, personally, think lived up to the greatness of their Untitled – but let’s also be real here: we shouldn’t be dissecting every single fucking thing about a Blink-182 album.
Do the songs sound good? Check. Can I sing them with friends on road trips? Check. The band’s growing up, and I’ve grown up with them. I’m not looking for much more.