September 30, 1999
Enema Of The State
[B]'Enema Of The State'[/B] is a remarkable record. It's loud. It's fast. It has a babe in a nurse's uniform on the sleeve...
'Enema Of The State' is a remarkable record. It's loud. It's fast. It has a babe in a nurse's uniform on the sleeve. And, in Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge, Blink 182 have two vocalists who couldn't kiss their own mothers without sporting Trafalgar-Square-Punk sneers.
Yet, despite all this, outside of the collected works of Richard Clayderman, you'd be hard pushed to find a record that 'rocks' less.
Wholly toothless and soulless, 'Enema Of The State' does the unimaginable, rendering abrasive guitars and nosebleed drums banal. Not once during its thankfully brief 35 minutes do Blink 182 turn their amps below 11, but, chances are, they couldn't tell you why they were playing so loudly.
It's not as if the guitars blare and growl because the band themselves are, like, pissed off about anything - the lyrical concerns are decidedly sophomoric, scatalogical humour and have a worryingly misogynistic handle on sexual politics. Indeed, the lack of musical or emotional dynamic present is enough to suggest Blink 182 don't feel much of anything at all (and not in the turbulent, poignantly numb style of, say, Dinosaur Jr either).
Blink 182 are, essentially, the essence of Green Day magnified and distorted to the nth degree. Punk attitood reduced to an insultingly obvious set of recognisable (saleable) signifiers (facial hair, big shorts, spitting). Yet Blink 182 don't even boast the tunes that made Green Day fleetingly forgivable, instead 'boasting' a slew of instantly forgotten half-melodies and flawed hooks.
Blink 182 take the sound and fury of a (once?) vital music, drain it of its drama, its passion, its life-force, and desecrate it, turning it into some pantomime caricature of itself, some empty kabuki dumbshow. They're as bad, as meaningless, as the cock-rockers and hippy wankers punk originally sought to destroy. Did I say remarkable? I meant to say despicable.
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