Blink 182 is back at it again, although this time, for the first time in 18 years, there’s a change in the line-up. The roster, which includes veterans Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, is now joined by former Alkaline Trio guitarist and vocalist, Matt Skiba, and I’m overly ecstatic to hear some new blood in this mix. My fervor is not meant to debase the contribution that previous member Tom Delonge added to the group, in fact I would rate the 2 previous releases, ‘Dogs Eating Dogs‘ EP and ‘Neighborhoods‘, quite highly. Rather, I have felt an urge for something different, something more.
Unfortunately, “Bored To Death” misses that mark for me.
What is it about this track that just doesn’t make it great? It could be the unappealing woah-oh’s, the too striking resemblance to it’s predecessor ‘Neighborhoods‘, or the, “If Blink 182 and Alkaline Trio had a baby it would be this song,” vibe that I feel. Now, some of you will surely say, “Well Yea! That’s precisely what it is! What were you expecting?” To which I would reply, “What are you doing in my bedroom?” And then go on to explain that it should indeed be a combination of those complimenting styles, as it is. But it should also be more.
The Single sounds good. But I believe that’s where it starts and ends. The guitar parts are not compelling, the bass is not memorable, and the drumming is nothing truly moving. The chorus booms with the kick and layered vocals, it is fun and greatly enjoyed, but comes in too early to pay off for the listener. The use of electronic production techniques, phasing and flanging, EQ sweeping and echoing is fun and sounds neat, but it hardly holds ground in the realm of interesting and exciting.
The lyrics, similar to the sentiments sung in the first verse, mean nothing to me. Imagery of nightmares, strangers, dreaming, and home are too vague to grasp or find depth in. Some fans believe these lyrics allude to, and tell the story of, Matt replacing Tom in the band. Which, if true, comes off as contrite and doesn’t make for great verses. Only in the bridge do I find a semblance of story or justification in the words, setting the mood in a dive bar with a boy meets girl type situation, which I am more than fine with taking literally. The melody here is appealing, engaging, and varied, and is my favorite part of the track. The song is catchy and I’ve listened to it plenty of times, but I most likely won’t pick it back up for awhile.
In the end, I am still very excited to hear the band’s upcoming release, ‘California‘, and I hope it will be special to both Blink 182, and to the fans.
‘California‘ is available on the 183rd day of the 2016th year, July 1st. (Way to drop the ball, 2016. Just had to be a leap year and mess everything up. Thanks a lot.)