Neighborhoods by Blink 182
Blink 182: Neighborhoods
DGC Records & Interscope Records
Blink 182 are back! Having taken a 4 year hiatus, arguably the most important and influential pop-punk band of the 90s have finally reformed. Much to the excitement of millions of fans world-wide, Blink took to the road for a world-tour in late 2009 for the first time together since a heated break-up in 2005. Following on from this hugely successful comeback, the trio returned to the studio together to record Neighborhoods, their long anticipated sixth studio album.
First up on the album is ‘Ghost on the Dance Floor’. This track immediately brings everything that has made Blink so successful over the years to the floor. DeLonge’s buzz saw guitar combined with Hoppus’ solid bass-line and precise snare and symbol-work of Barker, and the top layer of DeLonge’s highly distinctive vocals. It’s simple 3-chord pop-punk and carries all of the elements that we have all really come to associate with this band. However there is a certain darkness to the track as well that perhaps shows the band’s maturity since the days of ‘All the Small Things’ etc. This slightly darker tone rings through in the rest of the album, all the while retaining that familiar sound.
Track 2, “Natives” is really worth a listen. It’s fast-paced with off-the-beat drumming, matched by ecstatic guitar hammer-ons and underlying rumbling bass. In the chorus we hear Hoppus on vocals for the first time, as ever a huge contrast to the much more high-pitched vocals of DeLonge. Again this has rather a dark edge to it, most notably in Hoppus’ choruses making references to Jekyll and Hyde etc.
“Up all Night” was the first single released from the album, but by no means does that mean it’s the best song. Maybe it was released to give a taster for the album without giving away the best stuff prematurely, but for me it’s the album’s first hiccup. The next really notable track is “Heart’s all Gone”. Again it’s a fast-paced track with extremely fast-paced drumming and excellent instrumentation. As mentioned before, this album as a whole does a good job of taking the elements of Blink’s early years and adding a more mature texture to it and I think this particular track is the best example of that.
This album is a really strong addition to Blink 182’s already hugely successful discography. They’ve been hugely influential on a lot of the bands that are around today and I’d be glad to see them stick around to keep influencing new generations.