Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Album review :: Blink-182 - California



July 1 2016 (BMG)


Words: Alison Mack

The last full-length from American pop-punks Blink-182 in 2011, 'Neighbourhoods',  had the band’s two songwriters – bassist Mark Hoppus and guitarist Tom De Lounge – at sonic divergent odds, now with the latter replaced by Matt Skiba (from emo-punk group Alkaline Trio), they return with this seventh album.

Produced by John Feldmann (5 Seconds of Summer, All Time Low), while it lives up to what one might imagine a Blink album to deliver by way of big choruses, bold delivery and Skiba’s vocals powering the vehicle, the 16-song record drags with no noticeable progression in the wake of the band’s line-up change and still cling to their pop-punk heyday.

From the nostalgic ballad title track, to lead single and singalong anthem 'Bored to Death' which carries a towering chorus and big riffs, and the archetypal punk-pop of 'She’s Out Of Her Mind' best show off the Blink wares. But the catchy pop rock of 'Sober' and 'Teenage Satellites' are also juxtaposed by forgettable numbers like 'Kings of the Weekend’ and ‘Left Alone’.

The Blink-182 reputation for laddish juvenile humour is still alive and well - despite the band members being in their forties - in the shape of the 17-second 'Built This Pool' - "I wanna see some naked dudes/That's why I built this pool" - and 30-second closing track 'Brohemian Rhapsody' lurches down to “There’s something about you/That I can’t quite put my finger in,” which may be found crude and unappetizing by some, others may have a quiet chuckle. Which in essence, probably sums up 'California'.

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