September 15, 2011
I've had Sept. 27 marked on my calendar for some time now. However, I had to take an advantage of an early screening.
Blink-182, the band that inspired my passion for alternative music, was finally going to release new music -- something it hadn't in eight years.
The band went on hiatus in 2005 and for a couple of years, guitarist Tom Delonge left pop-punk altogether and formed Angels and Airwaves, while bassist Mark Hoppus seemingly left the music-writing business.
The return was unexpected but very much welcomed.
Yet, I will admit I was skeptical of what the first album in Blink-182's return would sound like. I imagined the chemistry was gone and the band would be left with recycled pieces from past albums.
Hoppus said the album would mix together some of Delonge's arena rock love, while mixing Hoppus' punk and indie background. He also said there would be a few songs that would be right where the band left off when it broke up in 2005.
Hoppus also said the album was named Neighborhoods because each of its members brought a different musical view to the table while writing the album. He said it was like how different neighborhoods make up a city.
It's very clear in this album that each member brought a portion into the writing process.
Although some riffs are heavy in Blink-182's pop-punk old-school sound, songs like "Ghosts On The Dance Floor" could be mistakenly credited as Angels and Airwaves.
Delonge's vocals are recognizably different throughout the entire album, even if Hoppus hasn't changed one bit. Delonge's venture into the epic arena rock is noticeable throughout the album, too.
On the other end of the spectrum, Hoppus, who did one album with the band +44, has left his mark in the album too. "Hearts All Gone" and the interlude leading into it both sound eerily similar to tracks on the only CD Hoppus released with +44.
However, there are also songs like "Natives," "Wishing Well" and "Up All Night," which sounds exactly what Blink-182 would have done in 2003.
Neighborhoods is a fitting title because it brings the strengths of the three members into a heavy, deep and dark album.
It brings together multiple sounds from different areas in rock and melts it into a pop-punk kettle and is definitely a breath of fresh air for the genre that was slowly falling apart.
While Neighborhoods is noticeably different in nature, it definitely doesn't disappoint those like me, who couldn't wait to hear what the crew would do next.