Blink 182- Welcome Back to the Neighbourhood

by: Tristan de Robillard

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The album cover of Neighborhoods. It’s bleak appearance is a good ambassador for the album’s sound. (I do not own the rights to this artwork. All rights go to Blink 182 and affiliates.)

It is very difficult to find someone who was a teenager from 1999 who has not heard of All the Small Things, a song that practically saturated radios all over the world with one of the catchiest and most recognisable guitar riffs made in the last two decades.

That was arguably Blink 182 at their radio-hit zenith. The only song of theirs since then to have approached the same level of success was 2003’s I Miss You, which came off of the last album they made before their indefinite hiatus (i.e. awful break-up.)

That self-titled 2003 album was a departure from Blink 182’s usual formula of 3-chord punk songs and I-shagged-a-dog jokes, containing dark subject matter and vastly improved lyrical and instrumental content. Many thought they’d never hear the next step in that development, but 8 years later the band has re-joined and is back with a new album.

It’s entitled Neighborhoods, which is rather apt since each of the three members brings the experiences that they have had during the break-up to the new album, creating a blend of Angels and Airwaves and +44  (their hiatus-era side-projects) that gels surprisingly well.

New direction continued

Neighborhoods is the long-awaited next step that many were waiting for. Tom de Longe’s new vocals are far more palatable than they’ve ever been, and the shimmering guitar from his A&A days has been somewhat reined in and given shape and form by Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, who bring the moody atmosphere from +44 to create the bleakest album that Blink have ever made.

Its greatest moments come from singles Up All Night and Heart’s All Gone, in which Barker’s skittish and at times ominous drumming is at its best. Heart’s All Gone is particularly impressive. Barker rips into his kit with breakneck zeal and unleashes the best example of his drumming skill to date. The simple yet poignant ballad After Midnight is another worthy mention. The melody that meanders its way through the song is truly beautiful and the lyrics are heartfelt and satisfying.

This album is a step towards progressive rock from the boys who used to write songs with titles like Dysentery Gary (I hope that I don’t need to explain why any improvement on this type of humour is appreciated). It is a fantastic development and the band has clearly matured well with age, with magnificent results.

The music video for Heart’s All Gone. Travis Barker’s flourishes at the end are quite a sight to behold. (I do not own the rights to this video. All rights got to Blink 182 and affiliates.)

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2 thoughts on “Blink 182- Welcome Back to the Neighbourhood

  1. Nice Tristan! Really enjoyed the review and you write really well – although the colours used and size of font hurt my eyes :p maybe thats just me :p

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