Blink 182 – California (Album Review)

This is my review of California by 5 Seconds of Summer…wait…I mean All Time Low…WAIT…Goldfinger….WAIT WAIT WAIT …Blink 182!

Don’t get me wrong, I like this record but this is BvS in music form; convoluted and riddled with flaws made by people sincerely trying their best. For that I give them props; better to fail than to regret never trying. I appreciate the effort and love them like a father begrudgingly loves his child after losing a little league game. Timmy participated and I enjoyed sitting in the bleachers under the sun with the single moms. I won’t beat him with a belt but I will let out a loving “What the hell son?”

Rule #1: Don’t outsource the most important aspect of your band; personality. This record lacks the intimacy and identity Blink is known for. “What’s my age again?” was Mark in song form. For better or worse at least we knew what was up. Plus 44 is closer to Blink than this (no matter how Meh you cool kids say it is, I love that record.) Let’s be clear; THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TOM DELONGE. I’d rather get sodomised in the ear than listen to one more goddamn failed attempt at Coldplay/U2 record.

However, this new record both musically and lyrically sounds like something any band with skinny jeans, tats and a bland un-inspired band name would scream on the Warped Tour…Main OR Ernie Ball stage. Yes, there is a couple of gems that I will be singing at the top of my lungs (All the hype singles) but not enough humour (30 seconds total) and too many geography lessons. At least Taylor Swift had the modesty to limit herself to one single about the big apple and moved on with eleven Max Martin knockouts.

Dear John Feldman; STOP IT. Lay off the “OH-OHS”. Every single song has a gang “Oh-Oh”. Every empty space is filled to the brim with a cheap production trick that does NOTHING for the song. “Na Nas” I can handle because it is Blink canon but if you trade lyrics for “Na Nas”, I better have it stuck in my head for weeks. We hear how point-hungry you are in the song writing department. This is Blink, not one of your development deals. If anything it shows how disingenuous you were about Blink’s talent in interviews cause you didn’t let the band be the band. However, after Neighborhoods and Dog Eating Dogs, you are the best thing to happen to them. You got them their #1 Radio single, you got them in the zeitgeist. The suits are popping champagne and the band is on a cloud. You pulled it off and for that I congratulate you, you son of a bitch.

So Blink, like a single father telling his kid “Maybe next time” after seeing him lose to a team of limbless paraplegics I will follow it up with a sincere “I love you” then hug it out and hope to God he does better next Saturday on the mound. Until then, I’ll enjoy the milfs.

See you in Boston

C+

Nick Gagnon

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