Blink-182 - Blink-182
Alex Worsnip 17/11/2003
6 months ago, a scary thing happened. Blink 182 said that their new album was going to be influenced by "DJ Shadow and early Cure". Being a great fan of both, I was scared of the results of a lame, three-chord nu-punk trio applying their little collective grey matter to emulating them. Relief, then, when I hear first track 'Feeling This', which apart from a few ill-conceived steps towards a more complex production, can't disguise the lack of change in lines line "I wanna take her clothes off/show me the way to bed". And Mark Hoppus still can't sing. Elsewhere, Blink do change, but its steps towards irritating half-baked rock balladry with a bit of swirling and bleeping in the production. Whoever they try to be influenced by, Blink remain Blink. Painfully obvious song titles for the 'sad songs' - 'Down', 'I Miss You', 'I'm Lost Without You' perfectly reflect the tired, copied acoustics that can be found done better by so many other bands. I'm a sucker for emotional songs, even ones by crap bands like Evanescence and AFI, so its a true mark of the uselessness of these tracks that they don't affect me whatsoever. When they try to go experimental, its even worse. 'Violence' is a horrible blend of disparate bits of emo, techno and "let's stick some radio interference here so it sounds clever". Hoppus's vocals manage to totally ruin the only redeeming feature of the track, a section that melds some aching keyboards with a New Order-esque high bass line. This is a shocker of a record - though it is, admittedly, probably better than their old stuff. At least that admitted what it was, though - here its dressed up as something mature. Ultimately, these guys represent everything there is to hate about jock culture. Their emotion is fake, their vocals annoying, and their mission statements laughable. It was silly enough when they thought they were the essence of punk - its even stupider now they want to be a chin stroking blend of Radiohead and Sum 41. The joke's on them.