As I write this review, Blink-182 have just hit the top of the UK charts with California, their first album with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba in the ranks. It’s great news for a band who, upon their return a few years ago, just came across as though, not only was there turbulence within the ranks, but also that their hearts really weren’t actually in it any more.
Still, with Tom DeLonge gone, Messrs Barker, Skiba and Hoppus are very much putting things right with this fine demonstration of angsty pop-punk. No doubt inspired by the moodier direction Skiba brings to the table, California sees Blink-182 mix up that familiar cheeky pop-punk with a darker twist and one that, as demonstrated on tracks like “Home Is A Lonely Place”, “Bored To Death” and “No Future”, it’s a blend that they’ve got just right.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Blink if it wasn’t for the schoolboy humour and it’s nice to report that their minds still dip into the gutter now and again, this time for the 17 second “Built This Pool”. Childish it may be, but you can’t hold that against a band who once made a career out of knob gags and puerile jokes about shagging.
When all is said done though, Blink-182 are more than puerile pop-punk these days. They all but ditched that side of their persona years ago. With the addition of Skiba to the ranks, Hoppus and Barker have started a new chapter in their career and, listening to Skiba’s moodier tones puncturing the material on California, the masters of pop-punk are very much deserving of their place at the top of the pile.
California Track Listing:
02. Bored to Death
03. She’s Out of Her Mind
04. Los Angeles
06. Built This Pool
07. No Future
08. Home Is Such a Lonely Place
09. Kings of the Weekend
10. Teenage Satellites
11. Left Alone
12. Rabbit Hole
13. San Diego
14. The Only Thing That Matters
16. Brohemian Rhapsody
Run Time; 42:36
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Check out the video for “Bored To Death”