Sunday, December 09, 2007

When Punk Goes Pop

Blink 182 hit the mainstream with their "Enema Of The State" album and also showed their growth as songwriters. Here they move into a more post-punk sound concentrating more on melodic riffing then pounding power chords.

However, despite the lesser punk edge and the mainstream success, I found that Blink 182 still retained their distinct sound and super catchy tunes. I felt they were still creating music they wanted to showing maturity while knowing their main audience. These are guys who were gradually stepping away from their juvenile roots, but never abandoning them.

"Enema ..." starts off with the super hooky "Dumpweed" whose melodic riffing and harmonic vocals pulls you right in. "Going Away To College" and the album closer "Anthem" are similar in style with the latter being fast and closest to their "Dude Ranch" sound.

"Aliens Exist", "Mutt" and "Wendy Clear" are all rhythmic and groove oriented and though there is a poppier edge, they still sound like Blink 182.

"What's My Age Again?" is a catchy song that epitomizes (in my opinion) the bands attitude towards maturing yet feeling immature about their lyrical themes. It speaks volumes about peoples attitudes towards getting older. "The Party Song" tackles the juvenile themes and is one of the more punky songs here.

My favourite tracks are the sobering look at teenage suicide on "Adam's Song" for its building, layered riffs and moving and poetic lyrics. And "All The Small Things" with its simplistic 3 chord chunking and fun and cheerfully realistic lyrics on modern romance.

There really isn't a bad song on this album and the move to a more post punk sound is gradual enough to not be a drastic change and off-putting. A thoroughly enjoyable listen.

Right after "Dude Ranch" drummer Scott Rayner departed ways from the band and Mark and Tom asked Travis Barker (from supporting tour band The Aquabats) to fill in on drums for the tour. He became a permanent member and "Enema Of The State" is his debut performance.

Up next we'll take a look at Blink 182's "Take Off Your Pants And Jacket" and then I'll have some special Christmas posts immediately following.

Stay tuned!


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