In one week, Blink-182 will be releasing their reunion album, the first release in eight years. Seeing as the band is incredibly influential, they deserve a bit of special treatment. In the week leading up to the Neighborhoods release, we will be publishing a review of each of the band’s albums. Next up is the band’s first commercial hit. The album that started the Blink craze. Enema of the State.
First off, let’s get one thing straight. Everyone has heard at least one song from this album. By everyone, I mean everyone. Lead single “All the Small Things” has become the biggest pop-punk song ever to hit mainstream success. Most hardcore Blink fans consider this song to be one of their worst, but without the nonchalant verses and infectious “na na na’s,” that make up “All the Small Things,” Blink-182 would not be as big as they are now. Other singles “What’s My Age Again?” and “Adam’s Song” received a lot of attention worldwide, but no Blink song will ever compare to the hugeness that was “All the Small Things.”
Now, singles aside, let’s get to what makes Enema of the State a classic pop-punk record. Nearly every non-single that lies in this album is a pop-punk gem and they deserve the respect that they receive.
Opener “Dumpweed” has one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in the pop-punk genre, and songs like “Going Away To College” and “Wendy Clear” show vocalist/bassist Mark Hoppus at his best.
Enema is also a monumental album in this band’s career as it is the first to feature the living legend Travis Barker on drums. Using his super slick rolls (“Don’t Leave Me” and “The Party Song”) and eclectic drum compositions (“Adam’s Song,” “Mutt,” and “Dumpweed”), Barker shocked the masses with a unique style of drumming unheard of by most of the world.
All of Blink’s work preceding Enema was loosely constructed as nothing but a fun project, but Enema is the first to showcase a song that Blink can deem as a quality song that shows the serious side of the band. “Adam’s Song” is a track that has darker instrumentation as well as controversial lyrics about suicide (and serves as a touchy track for the band due to their close friend Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein tragically overdosing in 2009). Barker’s assorted drum style works impressively during the verses and Hoppus’ vocals shine brighter than on any other track.
Though Enema is the first to feature signs of Blink’s maturation, that’s not to say that it doesn’t feature its share of classic Blink joke tracks. “Aliens Exist” is a song dedicated to vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge’s fascination with UFOs while “The Party Song” is Hoppus’ own tale of his ventures to lame parties. Likewise, “Dysentery Gary” has its fair share of humorous lyrics (Fuck this place/I lost the war/I hate you all/Your mom’s a whore/Where’s my dog?/Cause girls are such a drag).
All in all, Enema of the State is a classic pop-punk album for a reason. Everyone loves to have fun, and that is exactly what this album is. Nearly all of the twenty-somethings of this generation have a memory attached to one or all of the songs on this album, and that is why it is universally loved.