“Most of the music is really personal as far as the emotion and the experiences that I’ve had in my life, but most of the themes in the songs aren’t that personal. They’re more just stories from television or books or movies or friends, more so than mine. But definitely the emotion and feeling is from me.” - Kurt Cobain, 1992
Today would have been Kurt Cobain’s 46th birthday.
“The kids are in a hurry // And I’m just full of fear” may be the most telling line any of the members of blink-182 have written over the past six years.
After all, the band left a double platinum album on the radio and fans clamoring for more in 2005 when they disbanded following the release of 2003’s Untitled.
Close to three years after the announcement of their “continuation,” Neighborhoods is finally here. But the content within the album is not nearly as happy as most fans will be while listening to it. A break-up, an airplane crash, multiple deaths, and an overdose, among the normal ups and downs of life, pervade every second of the 49-minute record.
Infectious guitar riffs, vocal trade-offs between Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus, and the never unimpressive drum beats from Travis Barker make the first three songs on Neighborhoods a perfect introduction to the long-awaited record. And what comes after the first leg of the album makes it clear that blink-182’s endless delays were well worth the wait.
On the second leg of Neighborhoods, “After Midnight” and “Wishing Well” prove to be the only two light-hearted songs on a record that is filled with solemnity and darkness, “Snake Charmer” and “Kaleidoscope” bring blink right back into the history of their past between references to DJAM (“He was the first to go // In search of the great unknown”) and to the uncertainty regarding the process of creating the album itself (“Let the hours tick past the deadline // Get another stamp in your passport // Wash you breakfast down with some red wine”), respectively.
“This Is Home” and “MH 4.18.2011” will be favorites on the album for fans of blink’s earlier work with their driving guitars and drum beats and fast-paced vocals. The verses and pre-choruses on “MH” might be the most “punk” blink has been since the Dude Ranch era, but lyrically the song keeps up with the rest of the album while Hoppus sings, “Stop living in the shadow of a helicopter,” potentially a reference to Barker’s near-fatal incident.
New Found Glory began using the term “Pop Punk’s Not Dead” a few years ago and it certainly stuck. The term itself has almost been turned into a battle cry for much of the scene. So much so that the band’s fall tour is named after the slogan. Chad Gilbert from the band recently wrote up an article discussing the meaning behind “Pop Punk’s Not Dead” and how it came to be. You can read the full article here and a snippet of it below by clicking “Read More”.
Radiosurgery Bonus Track: New Found Glory - Blitzkrieg Bop
(Originally by Ramones)