A new Blink-182 song means another round of fan ire.
Blink-182 were in the headlines recently for announcing an American tour with Lil Wayne. That tour, in of itself, isn’t anything that new for them: Blink-182 have played shows with the likes of Cypress Hill before.
However, what got people talking was their live collaboration with the re-animated corpse of Lil Wayne to make a horrid mash-up of ‘What’s My Age Again?‘ and ‘A Milli‘, complete with Mark’s off-singing. Anything that could be said about the dreaded crossover has been said, so watch the damned thing below if you’re curious or have been spared it thus far.
Blink-182 then followed that up collab days later by releasing their new single, the summer-y ‘Blame It On My Youth‘. What I’m about to say is something I rarely say outright, but man, ‘Blame It On My Youth‘ is straight-up fucking garbage. Hearing this song reminds me of what Dewey from Malcolm In The Middle says in one episode: “I expect nothing and I’m still let down.”
There’s barely anything redeeming about this song, so at least Blink are consistent with the quality of their new releases. Neither the verses or choruses pop-out, with no interesting dynamics. It’s all so sickeningly saccharine yet never in a fun or self-aware way. Travis Barker’s busy drum work doesn’t get to shine, and the guitars and production feel lifeless. With it all sounding like the pop-rock norm from producers like John Feldman; the direction the band’s diving headfirst into lately.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being poppy, and there’s also nothing wrong with using synths, vocoders and various electronics. However, if it’s a soulless product in the vain of artists like Imagine Dragons and The Chainsmokers, with no lyrical substance and some cheap hooks, there’s an issue. Evolution is great, but this ain’t it. Following 2016’s ‘California‘, ‘Blame It On My Youth‘ isn’t shocking or unexpected, but the alienation is still felt. In ten, let alone five years time, will most people care about like this as much as they do ‘Damnit‘, ‘Adam’s Song‘, or ‘Stay Together For The Kids‘? God no.
Given its nostalgic lyrics of youth, Blink-182 could’ve gotten away with making this a reprisal track; musically referencing old song and/or lyrically quoting their past-selves, where they were in the earlier years with Tom, and where they’ve been since. A slightly cynical approach, maybe, but it’d fair infinitely better than this. There is the vague allusion to their past, like how they reference ‘Bored To Death‘ from their last LP and “I’ve been lost since 1999 (Oh)“; the year ‘Enema of the State‘ came out. Yet if they’d pursued that trip-down-memory-lane idea further, many older fans would’ve gotten a kick out of it. For the first time in over a decade, most of their audience could’ve maybe agreed in liking something new Blink released. It’d also prove the trio aren’t hell bent on ruining their legacy with each release after ‘Neighbourhoods‘.
Like many others right now, I’m just left feeling bittersweet for the older, better Blink-182 and also confused at the wasted potential of having Matt Skiba in the band. (Wash this song’s taste out of your mouth with Alkaline Trio’s macabre, hooky and solid ‘Is This Thing Cursed?‘) I’m all for artists doing their own thing, but Blink definitely need Tom back in the folds – so he’s not making awfully cheesy stuff like this – and Matt truly works best in Alkaline Trio and his solo work.
Check out ‘Blame It On My Youth‘ below if you can stomach it.