Pop punk pioneers Blink-182 are back with their seventh studio album, California.
California is the band's first new music since the 2012 EP, Dogs Eating Dogs, and their first full length studio album since the release of Neighborhoods in 2011. Adding to the anticipation is the fact that this is their first album without co-founder, co-vocalist, and lead guitarist, Tom DeLonge, who left the band in early 2015 after conflict between him and the group. His replacement has been vocalist and guitarist Matt Skiba, of Alkaline Trio.
Blink-182, who formed in 1992, became massive influences within the pop punk music scene of the 90s. With albums such as Enema of the State, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, and their eponymous fifth studio album, they have managed to stay relevant and successful throughout the years. The band's music has continued to garner mass attention, even more so after their very public split with DeLonge.
California proves itself to be a nice follow up to Neighborhoods and Dogs Eating Dogs. Travis Barker's drumming prowess is a highlight throughout, especially on tracks like "Bored To Death" and "Rabbit Hole." The album also gives long time fans old school Blink-182 vibes, with comedic short interludes such as "Brohemian Rhapsody" and "Built This Pool," the latter being sixteen seconds of Mark Hoppus singing "I wanna see some naked dudes, that's why I built this pool." The opening, "Cynical," gives the listener a fairly good idea of how the album is going to sound, with some slight variations here and there.
However, that very statement presents itself to be a problem. While some tracks definitely stand out, such as "Los Angeles," "Kings of the Weekend," and "The Only Thing That Matters," a lot of the album contains repetitive rhythms and sounds. "Bored To Death" and "San Diego" have strikingly similar choruses, with the latter being reminiscent of the band's 2000 hit single, "Adam's Song."
Though California still has some good songs and melodies that remind you of the band's early days, DeLonge's absence is felt strongly throughout. While Matt Skiba and Mark Hoppus' voices blend well together, there isn't much difference between them, which becomes a glaring reminder for even the casual Blink-182 fan.
California is available on Amazon. You can also stream the full album above for free, courtesy of Spotify.
For Blink-182’s latest music, news, and tour dates, check out their Zumic Artist Page.