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KYS Writers On: Blink-182 – ‘California’

15 July 2016 | 4:44 pm | Alex Sievers
Originally Appeared In

Blink-182’s ‘California’ has been out for a while now and now it is our own turn to throw our opinionated hats into the ring.

As we all know, Blink-182’s California’ has been out for a while now, and after fans and the Internet at large weighed in on the trio's new effort, it is now our own turn to throw our hats into the ring.

Like many, all of us here at have had a long history with the trio's music. But instead of just one of us reviewing the band’s new album and leaving it at that, we've decided to share all of our thoughts in one big post full of deep, analytical, self-aggrandizing opinions and a healthy amount of shit-talking. You're welcome.

So scroll on downwards to see what we all thought of 'California'.

Nick Dominko:

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"Somewhere in my mind, I thought “Maybe adding someone that can actually sing and play guitar to Blink-182 will mean better songs and lyrics”. But boy was I wrong! There was a time where a Blink-182 album with stupid lyrics and songs about girls would be well accepted by most people but my God, guys, you’re in your 40's now and are married. Contrived is probably the best way of describing this album. I do miss Alkaline Trio, but I think as long as Tom DeLonge is off being completely and utterly cooked and talking about government conspiracies, we’re stuck with vanilla Blink-182 for now."

Alex Sievers:

“Look at it this way. With Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba in the mix, we have a decent Blink-182 album that's basically the self-titled album meets ‘Neighborhoods’, with short, cheap, watered down throwbacks to their older material. But with Tom DeLonge, I’m sure we’d still have a decent Blink-182 album that’s basically the self-titled album meets ‘Neighborhoods’ with short, cheap, watered down throwbacks to their older material...AND a ton of alien & UFO references thrown in. ‘California’ isn’t a bad record, but it’s also not great, either. It’s just kinda...there. ‘Bored To Death’, 'Rabbit Hole' and ‘Cynical‘ are pretty good, though, so that's something I guess."

Owen Morawitz:

"Blink were a huge influence on my fragile and turbulent adolescent mind. After the overwhelmingly lackluster ‘Neighborhoods’ in 2011, it’s refreshing to see the band return with maturity, vigour and a healthy respect for their roots with ‘California’. Losing a pivotal yet arguably batshit insane figure like Tom DeLonge (for the second time), would break most bands moving through the third decade of their musical careers, but Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba fits the bill perfectly, and acts as the seamless vocal balance to Hoppus’ mid-range (almost to the point of being indistinguishable from one another). Tracks like ‘She’s Out Of Her Mind’, ‘Home Is Such A Lonely Place’, ‘Kings Of The Weekend’ and ‘Teenage Satellites’ remind me of the band’s glory days, when I sat around doing my homework and playing GTA to ‘Take Off Your Pants and Jacket’ and their self-titled album. As for those under-one-minute, joke tracks, though… Just give it up gents. Pull up stumps. It’s 2016, you’re in your 40’s and no one wants to hear dick jokes from their dads. That’s what we have ‘The Mark, Tom Matt and Travis Show’ for!"

Peyton Bernhardt:

"I personally think that ‘California’ shouldn’t exist, but not in the “It’s a miracle Blink-182 are still making music in 2016” sense. In more of a pitying way. It’s not just that Tom’s gone, even if my heart did break a little bit when I noticed how much “Teenage Satellites” sounded like an Angels & Airwaves song. There are just too many things that feel wrong. ‘California’ sounds like the kind of meaningless title of an album that a younger, more lively Blink-182 would make fun of. It feels like a solid record…for Alkaline Trio. References to being 17 would be fine if the members of Blink were actually 17. Or even 18. Just not 40. When I realised I didn’t like this album, my first thought was that even though I’m only 19, maybe that’s just too old to still get Blink-182. Now I’m thinking that maybe Blink-182 are too old for Blink-182."

Jack Fowler:

"Hey Blink-182, aren’t you guys too old to be doing teenage angst, breakup songs, and power chord-heavy tracks? No, you’re not at all. Blink-182 have released one solid album here with a 2016 spin on it, with strong highlights like ‘Bored to death’, ‘Rabbit Hole’ and ‘Los Angeles’. The album just goes from hit to hit, and despite losing some good men along the way (Tom DeLonge), we gained a veteran of the genre - Matt Skiba. Sure, there may not be the call and response vocals that were once a major dynamic of the band, but you can hear exactly where they would be and I don’t think Tom's it would have made that much of a difference. Fans will say, “Bring back the old Blink!”, but I think that maybe fans should ride this new train of thought out for a while. With 'California', the trio is refreshed, re-energised and are hopefully ready for another 20 years!"

Matty Sievers:

"This album is one big fucking lie after another. What do I mean by that? Well, I mean that when Mark Hoppus sings about being a "teenager satellite" (whatever the actual fuck that means) and wanting to see naked dudes by a pool, I don't believe one ounce of it. 'California' is the band's attempt at staying relevant now that everyone's realized Tommy D is bat shit fucking crazy and should just be ignored - and it's a failed attempt at best. It feels so goddamn disingenuous to hear dudes in their forties writing songs about young love and girls. Even on those songs about Mr. DeLonge, they throw in shit about girls to the point it makes me feel like they aren't even about him. That only add that to the fact every ounce of this record feels uninspired and dry and just all around weak. Seriously, I've taken shits bigger than some of the choruses on here. Blink-182? More like Blink-18-Ew!