Blink-182 "Neighborhoords" Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Wed, 21 Sep 2011 16:01:59
"I saw your ghost tonight," exclaims Tom DeLonge. "It fucking hurt like hell."
The final refrain of "Ghost On The Dance Floor" is equally charming and chilling. It's the last phrase on the opening track of Blink-182's anxiously awaited new album, Neighborhoods, and it holds heavy resonances throughout the rest of the journey that follows.
Neighborhoods isn't simply Blink-182's best album, it's a landmark rock record. The trio effectively manages to infuse an otherworldly darkness a la Muse into the pop punk format that they pioneered.
"Ghost On The Dance Floor" is the perfect example of that hybrid. A swirl of distortion and synths encases Travis Barker's patented pounding before a snappy guitar propels the song into an arena-ready hook. Mark Hoppus's bass rumbles as DeLonge tears through a calculated, catchy riff twang. Lyrics like "Dreams can't all be real" resound most powerfully as the music cascades from orchestral art rock into near-metallic pop.
A bombastic buildup fuels "Natives" as Hoppus and DeLonge trade lines and licks with an impressive seamlessness. The speed conjures the group's early material, but the evolution feels immediately palpable.
Hoppus croons, "I'm just a waste of your time, maybe I'm better off dead" and "I'm fucking Jekyll and Hyde" before calling for independence. The punk spirit underneath it all doesn't rely on old tricks of the trade or practical jokes; it relies on the talent of the three musicians themselves.
"Up All Night" exudes a Foo Fighters-style bravado, but there's a certain sonic daring that separates Blink-182 from their peers. The instrumental "Heart's All Gone [Interlude]" is a gorgeous and melancholic display of the group's musical prowess. It moves and shifts symphonically before the punked out powder keg that it explodes into.
After moodier fare such as the excellent "Love Is Dangerous" and "Fighting The Gravity", Blink-182 gives us their most cinematic tune yet, "Even If She Falls". It's a beautiful closing tune giving the band one final hurrah as they run from Neighborhoods into outer space.
Blink-182 have certainly come a long way from Dude Ranch, but they've never compromised who they are. Those "ghosts" are still present and will happily haunt listeners forever.
Are you excited to get Neighborhoods on September 27, 2011?
See our last interview with Travis Barker here!
Read last year's interview with Mark Hoppus about "A Different Spin" here!