Today, I rediscovered my passion for Blink-182. I literally grew up listening to them and when they broke up, I was heart broken. I closely followed Angels & Airwaves and (+44), which some might say are really two sides to the same story. When blink got back together, it meant the world to me, but as a musician, I know what it’s like to break up and get back together with your band, and I know that it’s really hard to get back into the same mindset you used to have as a band. I was obviously quite skeptical about them coming back together thinking that probably could never reach the same level they used to be at, but oh boy was I wrong!
When they released their first song after the reunion, Up All Night, it was a strange but somehow also familiar sound. The intro is very… let’s say “experimental”, the main guitar riff is very Box Car Racer-esque, the chorus sounds like it came directly from an Angels & Airwaves outtake to the song ‘The Flight of Apollo’ from LOVE. The only thing that even slightly resembled the Blink-style was the verse. In all honesty, it sounded like Blink-182 did not really get back together, but instead had a DJ put together a few clips from songs that were never released by their respective bands. It almost felt like they had gotten together, and talked together about what direction the band was going to go and none of them had managed to come to an agreement. They had lost their identity that I grew up loving so much. Disappointed, I simply went to bed.
The next day however, a clearer version was released and so out of the sheer kindness of my heart, I decided to give the song another chance. I loved it. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but I did. Something about it screamed “maturity”. Where was this maturity last night? It must have gotten lost in the encoding of the YouTube video, much like true intentions sometimes get lost in translation. It was there. Behind the same old vague lyrics, I heard a cry, a sense of pain and desperation, and I mean that in a good way. Behind the flange effects I heard years of experience. I mean what did I expect? The same band that played in the 90s? It obviously wasn’t so. This band had been separated for years. Best friends blamed each other for the fallout. They’ve all lost very dear friends over those years. Travis Barker got a divorce, and more importantly was in a plane crash, and I cannot even begin to imagine how traumatic that must have been. Tom Delonge was diagnosed with skin cancer, despite, ironically, his efforts over the years to help spread breast cancer awareness. They all had children. They did not grow apart, but merely grew up. They’ve all been doing different things that shaped who they are today, and it’s no surprise that that has shone through their music. When I relistened to Up All Night, it made sense to me. I mean it’s right there in the lyrics. The song, was now beautiful. It was a side of Blink that I’ve never seen and truly appreciated and respected. Blink-182 were my all-time favourite band once again.