Blink 182 – Neighborhoods

Most Blink 182 fans would never have dreamt that the day would come on which they would hear a new Blink 182 record after the band’s “indefinite hiatus” eight years ago. No one could have guessed that drummer Travis Barker nearly dying in a plane crash would reunite the group, who were all still very active musically during their break, which would eventually lead to the new album Neighborhoods.

The hype around the release is easy to understand, Blink is a band that means something to a lot of people. They are a band that many of us grew up with and feel connected to in some way, so now as we all get older, seventeen years into their career, Blink are still giving us tunes to relate our new memories to.

This is a very important point to remember before listening to Neighborhoods as we are all older, three chord punk songs full of butt jokes won’t really cut it anymore and hopefully no one was really expecting that anyway. Why would you? The band’s last self titled record was already a huge step forward in maturity from their earlier material and the work they have done in Angels & Airwaves or +44, the band members other projects, pushes that maturity even further.

To say that a new Blink record would sound like a hybrid of the three members works of late is an obvious statement and in turn an accurate one. Interestingly and almost unexpectedly however, Blink offer some throwbacks to their west coast punk roots on tracks like Hearts All Gone, a fast paced punk song which could easily sit on Dude Ranch were it not for its modern day production and serious lyrics.

Trips down memory lane aside, and they are brief, the record sounds like a natural progression from their last offering eight years ago. There is a heavy pop influence in the songs, hefty dual vocal parts between Tom Delonge and Mark hoppus, and some extremely catchy chorus lines, notably in the single Up All Night and album highlight Snake Charmer.

Considering the tragedies the band members have experienced in recent times the lyrical content is extremely dark, there literally isn’t a single light hearted moment to be found. Every now and then a song will end with an experimental electronic section, something new for the band and also quite interesting and effective.

New ideas aside, this is Blink 182 how they should sound now, granted the songs aren’t all an even match to the past favourites and may not be worthy of the time taken to write them, but if you are happy about a new Blink 182 record existing then Neighborhoods will not disappoint.