Ladies and gentlemen, Blink-182 is back!! After nearly eight long music-less years from the punk rock trio, they have finally let the public in on what they’ve been working so hard on during what previously seemed like an endless two years. To say that Blink’s new album Neighborhoods is highly anticipated is what we like to call an understatement. Half of the world has been waiting anxiously and impatiently for this one record for quite some time, so the excitement was definitely prevalent when Blink released their first single, “Up All Night,” nearly a month ago and the excitement was even more prevalent when the sneaky bastards released a second single in a rather intriguing fashion. I, being such a huge Blink-182 fan, was just as excited as the next person and I went into each song with very high expectations.
Lead single “Up All Night” was our first look into what to expect from Blink come September. Upon first listen, it’s kind of difficult to comprehend what direction the band will be taking. Starting with an odd Sci-Fi-sounding intro, then kicking into a riff very reminiscent of vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker’s past side-project Boxcar Racer, heads are almost guaranteed to bob. As DeLonge’s signature vocals ignite the first verse with a little help from Mark Hoppus, nostalgia instantly kicks in for longtime fans as the realization that Blink is finally back in our lives once again settles. Finally, they are back.
The song goes on into a very Angels & Airwaves-influenced chorus, but it is executed much better with the classic Blink harmonies of DeLonge and Hoppus. After the chorus, the same riff that introduced the song jams out once again and we find ourselves back where we started as an identical verse of DeLonge and Hoppus’ vocal trade-off moves the song along once again. It may lean towards the boring side as the melodies are all the same throughout and the instrumentation is average at best, but the nostalgia factor is huge when listening to this song and it’s definitely one that gets better with every listen.
Now if “Up All Night” left listeners scratching their heads as to what direction this album will be heading in, they will tear their hair out in confusion when they hear “Heart’s All Gone.” It’s easy to tell from the opening drum roll and the raw production that this track is going to be reminiscent of the band’s sophomore record Dude Ranch and as Hoppus chimes in “Take off your gloves/We fell in love by the side of the road/This desert will break you down” over a very dark, yet very Dude Ranch-esque guitar riff from DeLonge, I went crazy with excitement. This is exactly what fans want to hear from Blink. A classic Blink-182 song, with a more modern Blink-182 spin on it.
As the chorus hits, I can’t help but think back to classic Mark Hoppus choruses in the vein of “Here’s Your Letter” and “Apple Shampoo,” which in my opinion is a very exciting thing. The dark verses off-set with the hooky chorus perfectly, leaving nothing to be desired as the song goes on.
Though the song is focused on Hoppus’ lyricism and grungy guitars, the shining element of “Heart’s All Gone” (as well as the shining element of a vast majority of Blink songs) is the drumming of Travis Barker. This track shows exactly why Barker is a living legend on the kit as his sticks flare up with exciting rolls and fills throughout the entirety of the three-and-a-half minute track.
It’s impossible to tell what Neighborhoods is going to sound like overall with such different tracks as the two above, but the fact of the matter is no matter what, come September 27th, the music world will explode.