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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The Blink-182 boys are back

By Jennifer Harpham

It has been eight years since the world has heard from Blink-182, and it is clear they have done a lot of growing up since then. “Neighborhoods,” released Sept. 27, is an emotional roller coaster that picks up where they left off in 2003 with their self-titled album.

Blink-182 went on a sold-out tour with My Chemical Romance this summer. Photo via David Geffen Company.

It is not surprising how much more angsty their sound has become after a plane crash nearly claimed the life of drummer Travis Barker in 2008. This is the same plane crash Barker’s close friend DJAM survived just months before he died of a drug overdose.

Although no one ever wishes for the grief and heartache a tragedy brings, tough times do have a knack for bringing people together.

Tom DeLonge, Blink-182’s lead singer and guitarist, told radio station KROQ in Denver, CO, “But then that plane crash happened, then you realize how stupid you’re acting and how petty things are, and then I started thinking ‘Oh my God.’ I like the idea of choosing not to do it, but I didn’t like the idea of God and nature choosing for me.”

The plane crash was obviously a pivotal moment for the band’s reunion.

“Neighborhoods” opens with “Ghost on the Dance Floor,” a song popular on Blink-182’s Honda Civic Tour with My Chemical Romance this summer. It could be seen as a continuation or a nostalgic reminiscence of their 2003 hit “I Miss You” with lyrics like, “I saw your ghost tonight/The moment felt so real/If your eyes stay right on mine/My wounds would start to heal.”

DeLonge took lead on this track but failed to convey the raw emotion needed to measure up to the lyrics, something bassist and secondary vocalist Mark Hoppus could have brought if given the chance. Even so, it sets the tone for the darker and edgier sound the band has evolved to.

“After Midnight” was constructed in typical Blink fashion. DeLonge wrote the verses while Hoppus wrote the chorus without telling each other what they were writing about. The technique seems to work.

“Neighborhoods” would not be complete without a love song, and this one seems to be wrapped around the message that no matter how bad things get, two people will find their way back to each other in the end. Might this refer to the band’s own reunion?

Other tracks each seem to own very distinctive qualities while still remaining true to Blink-like sound and practice.

“Snake Charmer” (on the deluxe edition) contains a twist on the biblical story of Adam and Eve. “Natives” opens with a powerful and looping drum beat that the rest of the song seems to settle around. “Wishing Well” echoes the band’s older songs with uplifting rhythms but with self-deprecating lyrics: “I went to a wishing well and sank to the ocean floor/Cut up by sharper rocks and washed up along the shore.”

No longer is Blink-182 the group of outlandish and inappropriate kids we fell in love with 15 years ago. With this album, the band shows their growth and ability to tackle life’s bigger problems.

“Neighborhoods” feels like a healing process for Blink-182. It’s good to see the boys back together again.

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