I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Blink 182. For all their goofy lyrics about fucking dogs/your mum/each other, the trio always displayed a pretty unerring pop instinct.
And, sure, a cynic might attribute this to the talents of the band’s producer Jerry Finn (who sadly died after suffering a brain hemorrhage in 2008) rather than their own innate skill. But even so, it takes a certain kind of genius to write a three-chord punk song that will give you goosebumps even when the lyrics are about ejaculating into a sock.
Plus, unusually, Blink 182 were actually getting better at the time they went on hiatus in 2005. Their self-titled album, released in 2004, was their best, featuring grown-up, new wave-inspired tracks such as ‘Always’ that suggested Blink 182 might eventually follow Green Day in transcending their dumb-ass pop-punk roots.
Alas, ‘Up All Night’ – the band’s first new material since they reunited in 2009 – seems like a backward step. Instead of picking up where they left off, with the hurtling paint-splat pop of ‘Feelin’ This’ and the like, they’ve gone heavier, and a shade more serious.
‘Up All Night’ features a lurching riff that will no doubt whip up moshpit hysteria (especially the bit where the drums go double-time after 3.04: an old RATM trick), but it’s hardly classic Blink 182. Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus are at their least interesting when they’re pretending to be angst-ridden.
“All these demons, they keep me up all night”. Is anyone buying that? From the guys who wrote the line: “This state looks down on sodomy”?
A lot of people will be thrilled today to finally have some new Blink 182 material to listen to. But let’s hope the upcoming album is a bit less straight-faced than ‘Up All Night’.