Fear, Anger, Concern, Disbelief, Anticipation and Excitement are just of the emotions which overcame my body when I first heard the new Blink-182 song “Bored to Death” had been leaked onto the internet and it took every ounce in my body to wait until I had enough alone time to myself where I could sit back and listen to the new direction for my favourite band, following the dismissal of founding member Tom Delonge.
Firstly I’ll say, the way I felt about listening to this song was like when you have to have to meet up with an ex-partner for the first time following a viciously, abrupt break up. You know it inevitably has to happen, but deep down you’re going to put it off as long as you can as you know all these mixed emotions will flood your body and you won’t be able to control what comes out of your mouth. So here I am, beer in hand pressing play on a brand new Blink song and I’d be lying if I said I was as excited as I was when I heard “Up All Night” from 2011’s Neighborhoods for the first time following their last hiatus.
First listen, I can’t help but think the whole way though, this sounds way to similar to +44‘s breakthrough hit “Baby Come On” and that this song could have been a continuation of that album. It was around this time friends of mine were posting their thoughts online about the song and one even stated “it could have been a song released straight after 2004’s self-titled“. I was about ready to remove this person from my life, considering that was one of the best collective pieces of music I have ever listened to, there was no way I could even consider the idea of this new song being attached to something so memorable like that album.
It was at this time I had to step away from Youtube as there was obviously still a lot of anger inside me, especially directed towards new guitarist Matt Skiba. Its no secret I’m an avid Tom Delonge fan, always have, always will be. In saying that the remaining members of Blink-182, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker both sit highly respected in my list of people I look up to, so there’s no way I could stay mad/disappointed at them for wanting to move forward with their musical endeavours, that was something I just had to accept, as most fans already have. So I left the song until this morning to give it another listen and accept that this was now their future.
Its hard to try and write an evaluation and not be swayed by other’s thoughts or opinions of the same subject matter, but this whole situation was very openly spoken about by close mates, colleagues and associates for the past 24 hours so I have seen quite a lot of feedback ranging from:
“It kills me, as a fan of blink for 20 years now, to see their legacy continuing without Tom Delonge seriously frustrates me but I understand their venture.”
“I’m really digging Blinks new single!! Considering I’m a “Tom” guy, I was unsure, but I love it!”
“I like the song but seriously, change the band name to +44 or something. I use the word like, not love, to describe this because I cannot love blink-182 without Tom. Every time I listen to a +44 song I wait to be blown away but it doesn’t happen. Tom brought ‘the edge’ to the trio. His quirky voice and plainly interesting guitar style has not, and will not, ever be adequately replaced.”
“I want to be excited about new “Blink”, but just can’t get on board without Tom”
“This is literally +44 with a louder, almost old school, blink bass. I hate to say this (because I do like this song) but are they just using the blink name to sell records?”
“It sounds like Good Charlotte and it’s just not their style”
And Totally Bizarre
“I hate Blink purely because of Tom. Have been a big fan of Matt, Mark and Travis tho.”
But it was this quote from a fellow Blink fan which set me on the right path to listen to it with an open mind
“To be honest my feelings changed when I removed the name and just listened to the song.”
So here I am, not considering the band name attached to the song and for the next hour I listened to the track over and over and over (pun intended) taking it in with each listen, completely opened minded and the result is: It’s actually a catchy as fuck, pop-punk song. Within 3 plays I had already learnt most of the lyrics and was singing it at the top of my lungs while driving to get food. Travis’ drumming was exceptionally on point, Mark’s singing was just as expected and Matt’s guitar, whilst not so technical, suited the song. But at the end of it all, it sounded very similar to other songs by bands in the genre e.g. All Time Low, Good Charlotte even a touch of Australia’s own 5 Seconds of Summer and Amy Meredith. But in comparison to previous Blink releases, it’s more of an obscure connection which I can’t see at this point in time. It does however sound identical to where +44 left off with their one and only album. However this new Blink album was produced by John Feldman who in the past has worked with two of the above mentioned bands (ATL & 5SOS) and I just hope his influence isn’t creating another version of these young acts, because older bands trying to embracing their youth again just doesn’t work unfortunately.
Given that this is the first single to be released from the band’s forthcoming album “California” (out July 1st) and judging by the sneak peeks we’ve seen in studio by various members on their social media accounts, it seems like Blink-182 released an easy, less technical song, that doesn’t take into consideration the past 20 years of their careers. However, something I have always stated is that bands need progression to move forward and if they continued doing the same thing over and over again it would get tiresome. I like “Bored to Death“, it has certainly caught my attention and I am interested to see what the rest of the album will sound like, however I guess I was expecting to be blown away by this new direction and beginning. I will give the boys a go and will wait with open arms for the new album, upon listening to that I will have a better understanding of my actual thoughts of the new Blink-182, I can’t (and you shouldn’t either) pass judgement by only listening to the one song.
Tell me if I’m wrong, right or completely missed the mark. But either way this is how I feel moving forward. Things change and you can’t keep holding onto the past, especially when the whole world seems to be moving forward without you. Instead have an open mind and await what the future holds. It could be better than expected, or completely blow up in your face. Time will tell on July 1st if I still feel the same way though.
Blink-182 – California tracklisting
- Bored to Death
- She’s out of Her Mind
- Los Angeles
- Built This Pool
- No Future
- Home Is Such a Lonely Place
- Kings of the Weekend
- Teenage Satellites
- Left Alone
- Rabbit Hole
- San Diego
- The Only Thing That Matters
- Brohemian Rhapsody
Until next time, rock the fuck out