‘Neighborhoods’ offers customary Blink-182 sound

Jack H. Evans

Do you ever find yourself listening to the radio and hearing a song that sounds really familiar, but you’re sure that you’ve never consciously heard it before? If that song didn’t come to you in a dream, it may well be a song from pop-punk band Blink-182’s first new album in eight years. The new record, titled Neighborhoods , brims with a classic Blink-182 sound that will surely appeal to fans of the band. Guitarist Tom DeLonge’s three-chord rock riffs are driven by the straightforward bass lines of Mark Hoppus and ferocious drumming of Travis Barker. The vocal styles of co-singers DeLonge and Hoppus are as distinctive as they were when Blink-182 first made their mark on the mainstream rock scene over a decade ago. While these characteristics might give long-time fans reasons to love Neighborhoods , they also prove that Blink-182 really has nothing new to offer here. Sure, songs like lead single “Up All Night” make (feeble) attempts at progression, and tunes such as “Ghost on the Dance Floor” deal with more melancholy lyrical matter, but at heart, this is the same old Blink-182, complete with generic riffs, static vocals, and lyrics that are often adolescent and needlessly profane. That said, Neighborhoods is nothing if not catchy. “Up All Night” and “Heart’s All Gone” keep the album interesting, and Blink-182 have always had a knack for making songs that stick in the listener’s head. In addition, Barker’s excellent drumming is far more dynamic than other elements of the album, proving that he is one of the better mainstream drummers around. While die-hard fans will proclaim Neighborhoods as album of the year and the revival of pop-punk, the overall monotony will put off many music listeners. If you’re looking for a fresh new sound, this isn’t the place to find it. Like AC/DC and Nickelback, Blink-182 have made a career out of writing eerily similar songs over and over again ad nauseum and Neighborhoods shows that they’ve asked themselves the question “Why stop now?” Overall rating: 4/10