Blink 182 : Take Off Your Pants And Jacket

Teenage dirtbags' grunge-pop juvenilia

“It’s way more punk rock than our previous records!” gibbers Blink’s Tom Delonge. Well [I]we’ll[/I] be the judge of that, sonny, so sit down, suck yer Sunny D and shut the fuck up. Staccato mosh-drums, brittle-boned punk-superlite guitar, whiny vocals about the kids being ‘misunderstood’ and grown-ups being ‘fucked and boring’ and stuff – the opening track, ‘Anthem Part Two’, is unmistakably Blink-182. Actually that’s shite. You could easily mistake this for any one of the Yank sportz-punk bands currently cluttering up MTV with their borderline ‘subversive’ videos.

For the sad fact is that Blink-182 are now indistinguishable from the increasingly tedious ‘teenage dirtbag’ genre they helped spawn. Their one saving grace is the frequency with which they say ‘fuck’ and mention number twos, shit-stabbing and sex with elderly relatives. We learn on ‘Happy Holidays’, for instance, that, [I]”It’s Xmas Eve and I’ve only wrapped two fucking presents/And I’ll never talk to you again unless your grandma sucks me off”[/I].

This theme is further developed in the ‘secret’ outro track where a dog, your mum, your dad and [I]”a fucking pirate”[/I] ‘get fucked in the ass’. Very [I]Viz[/I]. Very funny. But apart from that it’s boring. The same old, same old ‘rebellious’ ‘teenage’ (ha!) whining (and who needs THAT when you’ve got Eminem?). The same old, same old session-musician take on ‘punk’. And pathetically disingenuous lyrics about being nervous on dates and heartbreak and stuff. Yeah. As if.

In short, Blink-182’s attempt to portray themselves as lovelorn social rebels and street punks is about as convincing as S Club 7 selling themselves as E’d-to-the-tits [I]über[/I]-clubbers. But not half as funny.

The only other track worth mentioning is ‘Give Me One Good Reason’ which appears to be a post-Columbine plea for social tolerance. Girls who [I]”pierce their nose”[/I] get a mention. As do heavy metallers with their [I]”awful pussy hairbands”[/I]. Because[I] “it’s cool when they piss people off with what they wear – oh yeah!”[/I]. But once again it [I]sounds[/I] like all that sanitised, castrated, shrink-wrapped ‘new wave’ crap that the major US record companies pumped out circa 1981 in their belated attempt to jump on the ‘punk’ bandwagon.

So, Blink, got any more amusing thoughts? No? That’s it, is it? Fuck right off then.

Steven Wells