I’ll just start out by saying that I have no shame admitting Blink 182 is my all time favorite band. They were the band that got me into punk music, dating all the way back to their “Buddha” days in the mid 90s. “Dude Ranch” (released in 1998) is my favorite album of all time and I don’t see that ever changing. No band has ever had this big of an influence on me and that is why they will always remain relevant to my life. I’ll never forget the day that Blink 182 announced that they were officially going on a “hiatus”. It was something that I couldn’t even fathom, as weird as that may sound. Then, at some award show (I think in 2009?) there were rumors that the three members would be presenting an award together and POSSIBLY announcing a comeback. So obviously my friend and I watched the show for that reason alone, and sure enough, the comeback was on. I can still remember AbsolutePunk.net crashing during this.
The disappointing part was how long we’ve had to wait for new material. “Neighborhoods” is an album that hardcore Blink fans have waited 8 years for. When I finally got my hands on it, it was almost surreal listening to new music from these guys. It all began when KROQ announced to the world that they would be premiering their first single “Up All Night” on their station. I really, really liked it. There was a little too much Angels and Airwaves in the prechorus, but it was catchy enough and I thought it was a good single choice.
Speaking of Angels and Airwaves (I band I DO like, for the record), you can definitely see Tom bringing a lot of that influence to this, but it’s not to the point where it’s overbearing. It’s pretty much a natural progression from their self titled album where they began experimenting with different sounds and a more mature style. On my first listen, “Snake Charmer” was my favorite. It has an intro that reminds me of “The War” from Angels and Airwaves and has a huge, soaring chorus. “Heart’s All Gone” is the throwback punk song on the record and is sung by Mark. It acts kind of like “Go” on their self titled album… a fast song that’s straight to the point.
“Wishing Well” has potential to be massive. Maybe not a single, but a fan favorite for sure. You can’t NOT sing along to the “Da dada da das” in the prechorus. One of the best songs the band has ever written in my opinion. “Kaleidoscope” (great back and forth singing), “This Is Home” (gotta love the synth), and “MH 4.18.2011” (a rocker) are all more standouts.
The music itself isn’t groundbreaking, but I must give a shoutout to the fast riff they used in the intro for “Natives”. Haven’t heard something like that from this band since “M&Ms” on Cheshire Cat. My only negative comment is the lack of Mark overall on the album.
Tom lead singer: 6
Mark lead singer: 3
Simply stated, this album did not disappoint. Upon first listens, it received rave reviews from almost everyone online. I really give them props for writing 14 new songs when most new albums these days are only around 11 songs. And in my opinion, every single song on here is really good except for “Fighting The Gravity”, which I guess was a bonus track for a reason. This alone warrants my highest recommendation if you dig this band.
Music video for “Up All Night”: