Saturday, 6 August 2011

More New Blink-182 Music - And It's Good

Something I learnt today: It's quite difficult to type out a review whilst simultaneously eating a large humble pie. Yes, not for the first time, I've gone and made a bold claim which has been almost immediately made to look utterly stupid. This time it was with Blink-182 re: their future. In my review (well, more an assassination) of their comeback single Up All Night, I speculated that, if the band continued to follow the confused and tedious path they appeared to be forging, they were in danger of desecrating their back catalogue and tainting their legacy. I'd like to think that Mark Hoppus stumbled upon this humble fanzine, looked at my words with dismay and immediately demanded his bandmates go back to the drawing board, but whatever the case, the second new song leaked since their comeback is a much marked improvement.

The track is 'Hearts All Gone', and it was initially open to listen to by heading to and pressing CTRL+A together to reveal the widget that played the song. The site's down now, but there's plenty of copies doing the rounds on Youtube. Go on, give it a listen right now, I'll wait.

Good, isn't it? It wins plenty of plus points from me right out of the gate by being a fast, hard-hitting, straight-up punk tune, with pounding, dexterous drumbeats and a trademark Mark Hoppus vocal line. It's a pretty simple tune, all told, but after their previous effort's clumsy stabs at epicness and confused song structure, perhaps this back-to-basics route is the way to go. And yet, despite it's stripped-back production and stripped-down format, every part of it is light years stronger than Up All Night, mainly because it has the sound of a band with a clear focus.

Many people have said that this could easily slot into canon back in the Dude Ranch days, and that's certainly true, but the big giveaway that this is latter-day Blink is the lyrics, which are
very strong, and light years ahead of the piece of used toilet paper that constituted the lyric sheet for Up All Night. Whilst the fast drumbeats and raucous guitars of old are present here, there's a little refinement and nous present that gives away the maturity of it's creators. In fact, continuing on with the theme of comparing new Blink songs to the band member's side-projects, Hearts All Gone has the feel of a track Hoppus had written up for the next +44 album, just with a harder edge and no electronic elements in the mix. So what with '...Night' sounding all AvA, that just leaves you Mr Barker - you got any Transplants b-sides lying around? But on a serious point, this track shows a much more natural progression into this mature angle they have now, and forms a nice bridge between the dick-waving histrionics of their younger days and the more subtle, grown-up leanings of now. More importantly, however, the song also bears the hallmarks of a band walking into a studio and recording whatever happened to come into their heads, and by that I mean it doesn't sound forced or constrained by desires to be something that it isn't. Ironically, this is one of the most out-and-out 'punk' songs they've written in years, so maybe that's the key here - simply go back to where it all began, and take it from the top, but this time, as 30-something men rather than teenagers sniggering at dick jokes.

Words by Adam Johnson

No comments:

Post a Comment