Sunday, November 18, 2007

Smiling Buddha

For the next several posts I'll be reviewing and discussing the modern pop punk band Blink 182 and their side projects/current projects. I got into Blink 182 right after their release of "Dude Ranch" during college and I have to admit, I've been hooked ever since.

Blink 182, like Green Day play punk sans the political strife and hardcore attitude. Or as I see it. The tend(ed) to stick to teen angst issues, girls and general potty humour.

That's not to say their music was not relevant, if fact I think the reason I enjoyed them so much was their frank honesty and realistic themes. They had fun, but their lyrics were poetic, narrative and personal.

It also helps that they wrote ridiculously catchy punk songs with loads of melody. All this played and performed with conviction and passion.

I'm not going to spend much time on the early albums, but here it goes. Blink's first official record company release (Filter) is "Buddha". This album has poor production quality, though I image far better then "Flyswatter" which was produced in drummers Scott Raynor's basement.

This release is essentially for big fans (my copy was free so I don't mind holding onto it) however, it is relevant in that it has early versions of songs like "Carousel", "Fentoozler" and "Strings" plus more that would be redone for the "Cheshire Cat" release. It also displays, albeit raw, the songwriting talents of Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge.

For the most part "Buddha" is forgettable and the stand out tracks are those that got re-recorded. This version of "Carousel" is bare-bones and unique in its own right (and one of the bands best songs) "Fentoozler" and "Romeo & Rebecca" are catchy and hint at the Blink 182 style the would become more prominent on later releases. "Time" has a Clash-like ska feel that makes me think the band was still juggling with their sound.

"Buddha" is by no means a terrible album, but unless you are a huge fan, it really is not worth the money. It's not one I tend to listen to since the good songs are done better on "Cheshire Cat".

That's coming up next ...


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