From a person who dabbles in every plethora that pop-punk has to offer – including the sh*t – Blink-182 are one of those bands that will remain iconic for 90s kids – either growing up with or listening back – as their chaotic tales of teen angst, women and sex is lovingly wrapped up in one loving spunky-punk burrito. With Enema of the State, Take off your Pants and Jacket and Neighbourhoods being the juicy toppings, they’re a worthy delicacy to our ears .. despite no one knowing what the band name actually means.
But, something keeps me Up All Night with this one. Amongst the continuous forums and streams of outrage from pop-punk worshippers, I happen to come across this question that I surprisingly and undoubtedly agreed with among my travels …
Are Blink-182 dead? Dammit, is it true? Of course, long gone are the days of Tom Delonge and American Pie, but I feel like everyone who was avid fans of Blink-182 – have either moved on or grown up – and seemingly left the band behind.
After the release of their ninth whack of cringe-awful teenage punk in one of the most un-original album names – NINE – it doesn’t seem to have a hair on the effervescent takes of Take Off your Pants and Jacket (jack it) in 2001 and its prologue of sexy-nurse Enema of the State two years prior. Maybe because their audience were actually still teenagers then. Huh. Like the now-Grandads of pop punk, it seems they’re still trying to keep up appearances and retain the novelty of an adolescent child screaming “f*ck off” to their mother who would simply never understand. But we’ve all gone on and grown up. How sad.
Of course, the material since 2016 simply does not have the spark or same rarity that is shone on the earlier projects. Without Tom, we are not receiving the pleasures of Delonge’s infamous vocal satire of pronouncing words longer than they have to be. The definitive favourite of I Miss You is not complete without his reverent WHERE ARE YOUUUUU that sets off his verse in the most thrilling of ways. It seems, unfortunately, that with his departure in 2015, so did the spark. Aside from the exploration of UFOs that Delonge embarked on, Delonge’s departure left a rather large hole within the band’s infrastructure. A supermassive black hole, you could say … and with Delonge’s other project of Angel & Airwaves not hitting the Mark, fans were left to Muse over the band’s future.
As always, Travis is the work-alcoholic that does everything in their power to continue the meteoritic rise of pop-punk. And with his fingers in so many drumming pies, he’s been doing that. Just not with Blink, it seems.
Where California in 2016, has somewhat of a feeling of prosperity with Bored to Death and She’s Out of Her Mind for which we saw the same in their self-titled in 2003, NINE 16 years later – 4 years after the departure of Delonge – is a slippery slope for any listener to endure, and is a tragic reminder that this band are now all in their 40s with kids. What’s My Age Again indeed. With a cover like sh*tting rainbows, it shows our worst fears in the band’s future direction.
Now with Barker confirming new plans in the horizon for the band in 2021, will we see the rinse-and-repeat formula of NINE or will we see remnants of old Blink coming through? Time will tell.